Development of a Hybrid Ozone-Biological Process for the Treatment of Drill Cuttings

Host Organisation: Innovating Environmental Solutions Center Ltd
Partner Organisation(s): PA 1: Cyprus University of Technology
Project Budget: 250.325,00 €
IDEK Funding: 200.000,00 €

The sustained low prices of oil and gas (O&G) and the structural changes that occur in the O&G industry have resulted in reconsidering of a wide range of practices at a sector of outmost importance for Cyprus. Although Drill Cuttings (DC) constitute one of the most important residues of the sector, their disposal causes environmental burden and their treatment contributes significant cost due to application of energy intensive thermal methods. Although available soil treatments comprise physical, chemical and biological approaches, combined methods are considered as novel competitive technologies often offering the most effective solution. The project aspires to develop a sophisticated hybrid ozone oxidationbioremediation system aimed to treat DC at pilot-scale and to produce added-value compost as well as a microbial consortium enhancing the treatment capacity of DC bioremediation processes. Initially the pilot-plant will be designed and constructed based on the wide expertise of IESC in developing full-scale applications, while the operation of ozonation and bioremediation will be tested separately to evaluate the efficiency of each system. Consequently, the two methods will be combined to optimize a number of operational parameters aiming to maximize treatment efficiency. The potential of the compost generated as end-product for application in agriculture will be explored through cultivation of plants, while a microbial consortium adapted to the waste will be employed for biotreatment enhancement. Moreover, Next Generation Sequencing and qPCR will be applied by CUT to quantitatively detect the expression of important genes involved in the process and to determine the composition of the microbial community formed depending on operational parameters. Through the project an alternative and sustainable strategic waste valorization plan will be constructed, while the company aims in moving the technology to process scale for the management of DC in Cyprus and internationally.