Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


SOIMON — Result In Brief

Project ID: 605065
Funded under: FP7-SME
Country: Croatia

Advanced on-site system to identify soil contamination

Over 200 years of active industrialisation have left a wide variety of chemicals in the soil that can threaten the environment and human health. EU researchers successfully developed an innovative automated solution that can instantaneously and efficiently identify contaminated sites whilst drilling, which in 2011 were estimated at 2.5 million in Europe.
Advanced on-site system to identify soil contamination
Heavy metals and persistent organic chemicals are big parts of our industrial legacy, raising major concerns primarily about their impact on human health. Conventional techniques for assessing contaminated sites involve laboratory analysis of samples, which often prove to be both costly and time consuming.

To tackle this problem, the SOIMON (New fast and reliable technology for soil inspection in contaminated sites with machinery condition monitoring) project came up with an innovative solution that can be used directly on site whilst drilling instead of having to extract and send samples to the laboratory.

Researchers developed a probe containing a range of specially designed sensors that can detect soil contamination and assess harmful chemicals such as volatile organic compounds. The SOIMON system is designed to be integrated in a drill pipe. It uses a dual passive and active vibration damping system to limit the effect of the vibrations caused by sonic drilling on the sensors and the electronics embedded.

The project's prototype system integrates a range of cutting-edge technologies. In particular, surface acoustic wave sensors identify toluene and dichloromethane that were selected as model gases for special volatile organic compounds (BTEX) and chlorinated hydrocarbons. For heavy metal pollution, the system employs radiometric sensors.

Condition monitoring sensors (Accelerometer, torque sensor, Acoustic Emission) ensure bore pipe integrity. Data from these sensors are then fed to the active vibration control tool to reduce the impact of vibration and torque at the first bore pipe where the radiometric sensor case is located.

SOIMON's advanced prototype system increases the reliability of data obtained on site for a wide range of terrain types, and also reduces soil inspection costs by 50 %. In addition, high drilling speeds enable fast decision-making for treating soils.

Related information


Soil Contamination, SOIMON, radiometric sensor, surface acoustic wave sensor, volatile organic compounds, heavy metals, condition monitoring, structural health monitoring, Acoustic Emission, Vibrations Sensor, Torque sensor, Active Vibration.
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