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Plants for Utilization of Industrial Wastes and Soils


Development of Technologies and Working Models of Plants for Remediation of Polluted Soils and Utilization of Wastes in the Area of Supsa Oil Terminal and Electric Power Stations Being Built in Georgia

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-MIB/Microbiology/Biotechnology
  • BIO-IND/Industrial Biotechnology/Biotechnology
  • BIO-REM/Bioremediation/Biotechnology
  • CHE-IND/Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Process Engineering/Chemistry
  • ENV-SPC/Solid Waste Pollution and Control/Environment
  • ENV-WDS/Waste Disposal/Environment
  • PHY-RAW/Radiofrequency Waves/Physics

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
R. Agladze Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Georgia, Tbilisi

Supporting institutes

  • St. Andrew First Called Georgian University, Georgia, Tbilisi


  • Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat Bonn / Geographisches Institut, Germany, Bonn\nDITEBA Research Laboratories Inc., Canada, ON, Mississauga\nJagiellonian University, Poland, Krakov\nJENA-GEOS-Ingenierbüro GmbH, Germany, Jena

Project summary

The Project aim.

Within the framework of this project it is planned the following:

  1. To develop and examine the appropriate low-cost technology of breaking of oil-water (water-oil) emulsion for environmental protection of area around the new Supsa oil terminal and other oil and gas transporting facilities that must be built on the shore of the Black Sea;
  2. To develop and examine the appropriate low-cost technology of decontamination of oil polluted soil for environmental protection of area around the new Supsa oil terminal and other oil and gas transporting facilities;
  3. To develop and examine the appropriate low-cost technology for chemical utilization of about 60 000 tons toxic arsenic-containing wastes and bioremediation of 10-12 Ha of heavily contaminated soil in the area in Racha district, where the 70 MW Power station must be built;
  4. To design, assemble and examine the working model of mobile plants for breaking of oil-water (water-oil) emulsions, for decontamination of oil-polluted sites, for utilization of arsenic-containing wastes and for producing bacterial fertilizers.

Current status.

On 5-th of January the Council of the Academy of Science approved the Project of Building of a new Oil Terminal at the Black Sea shore, on the right bank of Supsa river. Investment in construction and operation of the new oil terminal and oil transporting and processing facilities must exceed 13 billion USD. At the same time, construction of numerous coal running thermal power plants and hydropower stations is under way, many are already erected (e.g. planned construction of 450MW hydropower plant cascade in Imereti and Racha-Lechkhumi, construction of 350MW running thermal power plant in Gardabani, near Tbilisi). Investment in construction and operation of power generating/transmission facilities in Georgia will exceed 3 billion USD. After these decisions the total sum to be invested in Georgia for building new Oil terminals, Oil processing plants, transportation systems and Power stations during the next three years is assessed to be more then 16-17 billion USD. Thus, the load on natural environment in Georgia will abruptly increase for several times, really threatening the health of people, the biopersity in all Caucasian region, the agriculture industry in South Caucasia and all governmental Projects of developing tourism in Georgia. In this situation the only way to provide environmental safety of all Caucasus is the fast development of modern ecologically oriented technologies in Georgia, especially - in the field of transportation and processing of oil, mining and processing manganese and cooper ore, decontamination, neutralization and utilization of industrial wastes, cleaning and remediation of soils, purification of drinking water, atmosphere, etc.

Increasing of sea transfers, building of new oil terminals and transportation systems, building and exploitation of sea drilling platforms and equipment wear on old platforms cause harmful pollution of costal waters and coastal sites allover the world from China and Japan to South America. The Black Sea is heavily polluted and 90% of this pollution comes from the major European rivers like the Danube, the Dnepr and the Don, according to delegates attending an inter-parliamentary conference on the Black Sea environment from July 10 to 12 in Istanbul. The global experience of all oil-producing and transporting countries clearly shows us that the maintenance of the oil terminals, oil-processing plants and oil and gas transportation systems of such measure always causes a harmful pollution of aquatic surface and of coastal territories by crude oil, oil products and oil-water (water-oil) emulsion. Thus, the methods of breaking oil-water (water-oil) and oil-water emulsions and for decontamination of oil-polluted soils must be developed to respond the environmental threats caused by new oil-transporting systems in Georgia as well as in other countries. Several Physical, chemical and biological methods had been developed in recent years for purposes mentioned above. Most promising are the modern methods of ultrasonic and microwave treatment that can be combined with other methods - venting and thermal heating. Biological methods (bacterial treatment and phytoremediation) should also be used.

At this date the problem of arsenic pollution is one of the main ecological problems of mankind. The impacts, exposure and remediation issues are being studied at many Research institutions including Divisions of Environmental Health and School of Public Health of University of Minnesota, University of Geography of University of Bonn, University of Nottingham, Royal Geographic Society of Britain, University of Cambridge, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine of London, by Medical Institute for Environmental Hygiene at Heine University of Duesseldorf, Masarik Institute and Technical University of Brno, University of Cambridge, Karolinska Institute and Department of Environmental Health of Karolinska Hospital Stockholm, research institutions of Ural and Siberia, etc. Reviews of environmental contamination and toxicology, waste testing and leachability, microwave treatment and pretreatment, risk assessment, arsenic contamination of soil, water and related biohazards, clean up (remediation) by means of bacterial leaching, bio-oxidation are available.

At this date the participants of project (IICE and SANGU) developed a number of methods that can be successfully and can serve as a fundament for the low-cost technologies of breaking emulsions, decontamination of oil polluted sites near Supsa oil terminal and other oil and gas transportation facilities in Georgia, also for utilization of arsenic-containing wastes and bioremediation of contaminated soils in the areas of Uravi, Mjave Tskali and Mepichala, where the 70 MW Power Station must be build. These methods are the following:

  1. Ultrasonic and microwave processing of soils, wastes and oars in wide range of frequencies, power and pulse duration;
  2. Ultrasonic and microwave processing of oil-water emulsions;
  3. Combined processing of oil-polluted soils by means of venting, ultrasonic and microwave treatment;
  4. Cultivating of contaminated soils with EM (effective microorganisms) technologies using bacterial humates, produced by utilizing of Tkibuli (Western Georgia) coal mining remains, and arsenic accumulating plants (sunflower, Festuca ovina grass or ferns);
  5. Utilizing of arsenic-containing wastes by means of etherification using butanol and higher alcohols;
  6. Pretreatment of arsenic-containing wastes by microwave (SHF) radiation for intensification of chemical and biochemical processes, decreasing of processing duration and lowering of corresponding costs.

Using this experience it is also possible to design, construct and assemble the working model of the mobile station for low-cost breaking of emulsions, decontamination of polluted soils and for chemical utilization of arsenic-containing wastes.

The project’ influence on progress in this area.

In case this project will be approved and carried out financing in amount of about of 2.0 million USD for developing facilities for breaking oil-water emulsions and for combined treatment of oil polluted sites is expected. Success of this project can provide the financing in amount of about 1.5 million USD for utilization of toxic wastes and decontamination of contaminated soils on the territories where 70 MW Power plant must be built. Approving and carrying out of the proposed project has especially great importance, because construction of new oil terminal and new power stations in Georgia is under way and many are already erected, so that foreign investment in construction and operation of power generating/transmission facilities in Georgia will exceed 16 billion USD. This in its turn means formation of multimillion basis for health, environmental protection and insurance activities, giving possibility to apply the developed technologies to 35 million arsenic, cooper and gold-containing wastes disposed in Bolnisi (South-East of Georgia) region.

The participants’ expertise.

The scientists taking part in the project have considerable experience and are high-qualified scientists in the field of electrochemistry, chemistry of arsenic compounds, biochemistry, bioremediation and microwave physic. They are authors of more than 35 USSR Patents and four of them are weapon scientists. The Project manager Tamaz Marsagishvili, Head of Scientific Council of R. Agladze Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Electrochemistry, member of New York Academy of Sciences, member of American Chemical Society, has over 120 published scientific works in the sphere of Kinetics of chemical, electrochemical, photochemical and photo-electrochemical reactions, electronic-vibration and Raman spectroscopy of polyatomic particles in condensed media, spreading of electromagnetic waves in irregular condensed systems, radio-spectroscopy.

Expected results and their application.

The implementation of this Project will lead to: Optimal tuning of microwave and ultrasonic generators frequency and pulse duration for effective pretreatment of oil water emulsions, oil contaminated soils and arsenic-containing wastes; Decontamination of heavily polluted (up to 3000 -5000 mg/kg) soils to much lover levels of arsenic concentrations (30-100 mg/kg); Utilisation of arsenic-containing wastes; Decrease of arsenic leachability from toxic wastes, tested by TCLP and WET procedures to levels permitted for disposal; Construction and assembling of working model of mobile plants for breaking oil-water emulsions, decontamination of oil polluted soils, producing of bacterial fertilizers and chemical utilization of arsenic-containing wastes; Decrease of threats to the health of local population and temporary settlers of contaminated areas (reducing of risk factors for approximately for 10 times).

Meeting the ISTC goals and objectives.

Since former “weapons” scientists took part in this Project implementation and because it is exceptionally peaceful the Project meets the ISTC goals. Adherence to these objectives can be attained by planned wide involvement of scientists and participating institutions into international scientific community through providing information on the Project during international conferences and workshops.

Scope of activities.

The following activities will be implemented under the Project: Environmental Investigations; Investigation of breaking of oil-water (water-oil) emulsions and treatment of oil-polluted soils; Study of microwave pretreatment and chemical treatment of arsenic containing soils and wastes; Investigation of Bio- and Phytoremediation of soils; Presentation of obtained results to the Georgian and international scientific community, local authorities and potential customers.

Role of Foreign Collaborators/Partners.

High qualified scientists from Germany, Sweden and Poland which have experience of collaborating with IICE and SANGU, as well as some other colleges from Europe, expressed their wish to become Collaborators on this Project. Discussions, information exchange, consultations and direct visits are the desired forms of collaboration.

Technical approach and methodology.

The main innovation of the Project work is use of combined physical, chemical and biological methods, which are developed in the Institutions involved in the project. Each of these methods is investigated in the Participating Institutions by means of the modern equipment pointed above.