Success Stories

Here you will find our latest success stories with private sector companies where, in collaboration with international research institutions, we help them find innovative solutions to their challenges and assist them in improving their products and services.

Progress Report on Development Of Soil Cleaning System For Remediation Of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soil

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE COMPANY

Lothan Internaional Com. General Trading And Contracting. was established 2004, to fill-up the gap of unavailable specialized company’s in this field in Kuwait and other Gulf Countries. Lothan provides professional short courses and consultancy in a range of environmental and geotechnical topics including on-site, sediment control, soil remediation, water treatment, waste management and landfill management in order to meet the growing demand by the industry, business and companies to obtain the professional experience and consultations in the field of safety, health and environmental management. We are known for our leadership in the field of industrial environment, and we have the local personnel attaining higher degrees from international universities in the environmental assessments and managerial systems in health, safety and environment. We are committed to providing an experienced crew for industry, business and companies sector within the framework of modern business principles, in order to overcome challenges of the 21st century. We seek to benefit from the available opportunities in the field of environmental consultations.


HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT KFAS, AND THE ENTERPRISE SUPPORT PROGRAM?

The enterprise support program will help the beneficiaries to progress over the life cycle of the innovation, from idea to proof of concept, to first pilot application and finally up-scaling and expansion. We found that the enterprise support program will help to continuous improvement, learning opportunities and facilitating access to business partners and investors. Being part of this program offers you a life-long privileged access to our user-driven business acceleration services, customized to your needs.


WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM YOU WERE TRYING TO SOLVE?

  • The lab scale project was conducted during Dr. Meshari Al-Mutairi’s the Ph.D. program. The first year of the project focused on investigating the effectiveness of remediation strategies to treat oil-contaminated sand. Several remediation approaches were evaluated, such as phytoremediation, vermi-remediation, windrow and land farming. It was determined that microorganisms were not suitable enough to treat the oil-contaminated sand. As a result, it was determined that the remediation efforts needed to be enhanced. During the project’s second year, a soil washing method was developed by Dr. M. Al-Mutairi and then evaluated by means of a lab-scale test. The information from this investigation was crucial as it allowed the selection of remediation options which had not, hitherto, been possible. On completion of all essential preliminary procedures, including the initial characterization of the soil, it was possible to commence the evaluation of the selected process under laboratory conditions. In order to establish a large scale model, it was necessary to conduct a pilot-scale study to measure the optimal conditions and select the best method required to achieve the desired results within the provided time-frame.


RESEARCH INSTITUTION

Kuwait University


PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Kuwait suffered extensive environmental damage caused by the destruction of its oil infrastructure during the 1991 Gulf War. This one-time event continues to be a national and regional issue and has been the subject of extensive studies. There is a long-term government priority to reestablish the environmental integrity of the effected land. However, the issue of environmental degradation due to oil contamination predates the 1991 War, and there are significant problems that still exist based on legacy industrial practices. One such practice, relates to disposal of bottom of the barrel sludge from refining. The accepted practice in the mid 1940s was to dump the sludge in open pits. Even though this practice is no longer common in Kuwait, and the waste sludge has been treated, the contaminated soil beneath the pits still represents a serious hazard. There is an estimated ~65,000 tons of contaminated soil under KGOC control. The remediation of that soil is the scope of this proposal. However, the sludge pits are but one example of the legacy problems facing Kuwait. While remediation of
the oil lakes has been studied extensively, not much attention has been paid to the soil beneath the lakes. The contamination resulting from the decades of natural leaching has created a problem while, not so obvious or dramatic as the oil lakes, nevertheless represents a hazard and precludes use of the land for human or industrial use. Kuwait’s environment remains vulnerable due to the wide range of operations associated with the petroleum business, such as exploration, production and transportation, with leaking at underground tanks being the most frequent cause of contamination. Dr. Meshari Al-Mutairi’s patented invention is a valuable tool for addressing these issues as it is a proven and effective way to remediate low level hydrocarbon contaminated soil. Lothan is prepared to enter the soil remediation market with its portfolio of unique intellectual property specifically designed to treat oil contaminated soil. Lothan’s remediation Ex situ soil washing processes (Patent registered (No: US20170138135 & GCC 2017-33018 (Mectech) (Figure 3), is a separation processing technique. This technology is a water-based process for scrubbing soils at 1500 rpm and changing the water motion by reducing the contact angle of the oil residue with sand particles form agglomeration (oil with sand) to free motion. The process removes contaminants from soils in the following two ways:


1. By dissolving and suspending them in the wash solution
2. By breaking them down into a smaller volume of soil through particle size separation, gravity separation, and attrition scrubbing.

Reducing soil contamination through particle size separation is based on the finding that most organic and inorganic contaminants tend to bind, either chemically or physically, to clay, silt, and organic soil particles. The silt and clay, in turn, are attached to sand and gravel particles by physical processes, primarily compaction and adhesion. Washing processes that separate the fine (small) clay and silt particles from the coarser sand and gravel soil particles are very effective and breakdown the contaminants into a smaller volume of soil that can be further treated or disposed.


HOW DID KFAS HELP WITH YOUR PROJECT?

We noticed that KFAS with this program help the country make a major stride in the efforts by supporting the private sector to drive economic growth. During this pilot we feel that this program help the private sector to focus on building an inclusive, collaborative, and innovative ecosystem for entrepreneurs to lay the foundation for economic opportunities in the State of Kuwait. By introducing us to KISR and invited as to some work shop. As a result two conference papers were submitted after this pilot and one proposal has submitted to KNPC for 42.000m3 of oil contaminated soil which needs to be treated.


TO WHAT EXTENT DID KFAS ADD ADDITIONAL VALUE TO YOUR PROJECT?

The adding value from the current program is help the private sector to improve performance, increase production, reach new foreign and domestic markets, obtain customers from commercial financial institutions such us Enertect and Sacco, and attract foreign investment.

During the project Mr Richard from Enertech has witness and evaluate the pilot which provide for us a good opportunity for collaboration in the future.


WHAT WAS THE STI RELATED SOLUTION NEEDED FOR YOUR PROJECT?

Environmental Solutions


WORKING WITH THE RESEARCH INSTITUTE

All the samples were send to KU for analysis, therefore TPH was suggested to evaluate the efficiency of the suggested method. The result met the Kuwait regulation (<10,000 ppm).

PROJECT IMPACT

As the standards of global environment becoming stringent and proven technology in dealing with oil contaminated sand under severe climatic conditions. The integrated system focused on remediation of oil contaminated sand using a new strategy of soil washing. The novelty of the concept note is that it aims to focus on problems associated with the cleanup of oil-contaminated soil in Kuwait having oil lakes which have demonstrated that there is a need for a new remediation technique that are feasible, having less serious side effects, quick, and low cost, which has the potential to address environmental contamination by various pollutants mixtures. The methodology is straight forward and the results have a direct positive impact on the remediation of Kuwait oil contaminated soil. After the pilot, official MOU was signed with Enertech to conduct the project in bigger scale. Right now, an official proposal were submitted to KPC and KGOC with budget quotation.


WOULD YOU REAPPLY TO A KFAS PROGRAM?

Yes. 


BECAUSE OF THIS PROJECT, ARE YOU LIKELY TO INVEST FURTHER IN RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT?

Yes, in the environmental and oil sectors.


WOULD YOU RECOMMEND KFAS PROGRAMS TO OTHER COMPANIES?

One of the most important point that KFAS provide to the private sector is help to develop their core business using science, technology and innovation. Furthermore, this enterprise support program support the company to identify improvement opportunities and help them grow fast. Moreover, the enterprise support program keeps companies up to date with the latest market trends in order for them to stay competitive. This program can do different Services such as assessment of challenges and links to local and international expert solutions tailored to your needs. Therefore, this such program is critical for supporting the privet sector to go to the global market with full skills and knowledge.