Use of remediation techniques
As was stated earlier, there are several remediation techniques available, of which bioremediation is just one and, for the most part, regional variables define which approach will tend to be the more commonly used for any given country. In the United Kingdom, guideline figures are available from BioWise, the government-established body charged with promoting the use of biotechnology, formerly ‘Biotechnology Means Business’ (BMB). These indicated that of the seven most commonly available methods in 1997, containment and encapsulation accounted for 46% of remediation activity in the UK, excavation for disposal made up 28%, with bioremediation in third place at 12%. The remaining 14% was achieved by vacuum extraction (7%), chemical treatment (4%), solvent washing (2%) and finally, at 1%, incineration as shown in Figure 5.10.
Though this may be of limited relevance in universal terms, since, as has been pointed out throughout, the situation in one country does not necessarily bear any resemblance to that in another, in many ways, it does serve as a useful illustration of the link between economics and the uptake of environmental biotechnology. Over the same period, the costs for remediation were as shown in Table 5.2.