When harmful contaminants are introduced to soil, it has significant consequences at several levels of the ecosystem.

Soil remediation efforts to purify the land are a necessary effort to restoring the soil and allowing it to produce useful crops in the future, be used for buildings, or even be used for parks and wildlife preserves.

There are few methods that currently exist to detect the level of contamination in a land area.

The most prevalent method is to take a soil sample, ship it to a lab for testing, and then find out the results a few days later.

This method has obvious points of potential improvement, the most significant one being the amount of time it takes to determine the severity and extent of the contamination involved.

CSIRO Industrial Research Services and their global distribution partner Ziltek have just launched a new handheld soil contamination detector in the U.S. market.

The product, which has been received with success in New Zealand and Australia since 2012, sees its opening in the North American market as a major turning point in the soil remediation industry. 

The new handheld detector can be used to diagnose the level of contamination in areas that have been affected by petroleum pollution.

The device makes use of an infrared signal to directly measure the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons in the soil. Using infrared signals greatly improves the speed at which an accurate reading is acquired.

Initial reports say the results return in as soon as 15 seconds.

The expected savings this type of device could produce reaches into the millions by cutting laboratory and labor costs.

This quote summarizes the impact of the RemScan device,

“RemScan oil contamination can be used as a quick in-field screening tool to characterize contaminated sites, validate spill clean-up areas, or monitor ongoing contaminant degradation. The technology is particularly useful for the quantitative measurement of diesel, oil and crude products in soil, but can also be used as a screening tool for lighter fuels such as jet fuel and gasoline. RemScan demonstrates its true value as a quick, easy to use and accurate instrument especially in remote areas, where laboratory analysis is either not available or is prohibitively expensive.”

Bringing quicker, more efficient methods of contamination detection is going to help soil remediation efforts in remote areas and regions where laboratories are not as accessible.

Right now the RemScan device only applies to oil detection, but CSIRO and Ziltek are already working to extend the technology to other contaminants.

It will be interesting to see how this innovation works on the markets in the U.S. and if the product lives up to the promise.

You can read the full article at infolink.com here.