DRAM® - How it Works

Pollutants vary greatly in their physicochemical forms. However, water solubility and hydrophobicity (the extent of water repellence) are key factors in defining their behaviour association with in water. DRAM can be deployed at a scale and in a format that matches the needs, resources and space of the client’s operation.

In the case of inorganic pollutants, the DRAM process permanently sorbs the pollutants into the matrix thus removing this from the solution. EPONA staff relate the needs of a client to the performance of the DRAM using bespoke software, tailored to work for a wide range of scenarios. With an almost inexhaustible surface area the challenge is to understand the flow rate and dosing of contaminants and to relate this to the performance and longevity of DRAM.

For degradable organic pollutants these also become bound to the DRAM matrix. But here they become prone to attack by microbial degraders within the DRAM. Research has shown that DRAM hosts a diverse and large population of organisms capable of the degradation of aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents and pesticides. The degraders become conditioned in the matrix which has a much slower decay rate than the pollutants that pass through. Furthermore sparingly soluble compounds such as large PAHs and PCBs are also effectively degraded. This is because the voids within DRAM are ideal habitats for a microbial ecosystem capable of utilising a diverse range of organic substrates. The niches within the matrix also have a range of REDOX potentials meaning that anaerobic and aerobic habitats exist side by side. Most significantly, DRAM not only sorbs and retains these organic molecules but it is able to completely mineralise them rendering the end products of carbon dioxide and water. The deployment of DRAM for such applications can be for very long term operations as the degrading pollutants self sustain the process.

Unlike many competing technologies, DRAM is also applicable to mixed contaminant sources where there are both organic and inorganic pollutants present. By removal of the inorganic constituents there is less chance of inhibition of the microbial degraders within the microbial community. This is because DRAM offers a diverse and yet protective environment to the degrading community facilitating in long term functionality.

 

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