Cost-efficient and sustainable cleaning solution for PFAS-containing soil

Publication Date

Environmental specialists at DEME’s de Vries & van de Wiel and consulting and engineering firm Tauw have joined forces to develop a cost-efficient and sustainable cleaning technique for PFAS-containing soil in the Dutch market.

Thanks to their cooperation, the two leading soil contamination specialists can offer customers a total solution in the field of PFAS sandy soil cleaning and granulate construction materials.

Hybrid soil washing process
The partners have developed a special soil washing process that cleans PFAS-containing soil, with an impressive cleaning yield achieved of more than 95%, in both laboratory tests and at full scale. The innovative method is a hybrid version of the wet extractive cleaning process, which, in addition to fracture separation, focuses on purifying the wash water.

Clean, or a non-cleanability declaration? In mid-May, Rijkswaterstaat Bodem+, which is part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, extended the possibilities for applying for a ‘declaration of non-cleanability’ for batches of PFAS-contaminated soil. As a result, batches of PFAS-containing sandy soil with an elutriated fraction of less than 40% (organic matter + fraction < 63 µm) can be landfilled, when the levels of PFAS are higher than 20 times the temporary standard limit.

However, dumping PFAS-containing soil is expensive ( being subject to a landfill levy) and certainly not sustainable or circular. Dumped soil is considered ‘waste’, while cleaned soil is given a second economically-viable life. The reuse of cleaned soil also saves valuable primary raw materials.

With the “DEME hybrid soil washing process”, it is possible to clean PFAS-containing soil in a sustainable manner and drastically reduce the amount of material to be landfilled (by at least 60%).

Contacts for de Vries & van de Wiel: Pieter van der Mussele (+32 4 7398 4930) or Jochem Bloemendaal (+31 6 1533 9626).


About DEME

DEME is a world leader in the highly specialised fields of dredging, solutions for the offshore energy industry, infra marine and environmental works. The company can build on more than 140 years of know-how and experience and has fostered a pioneering approach throughout its history, enabling it to be a front runner in innovation and new technologies.

DEME’s vision is to work towards a sustainable future by offering solutions for global challenges: a rising sea level, a growing population, reduction of CO2 emissions, polluted rivers and soils and the scarcity of natural resources.

While the company’s roots are in Belgium, DEME has built a strong presence in all of the world’s seas and continents, operating in more than 90 countries worldwide. DEME can rely on 5,200 highly skilled professionals across the globe. With a versatile and modern fleet of over 100 vessels, backed by a broad range of auxiliary equipment, the company can provide solutions for even the most complex projects.

DEME achieved a turnover of 2.62 billion euros in 2019.


For additional information:

Vicky Cosemans

Head of Communications DEME Group

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