Remediation of contaminated soils

Remediating contaminated soil helps providing communities with more healthy nature.

Hemp is able to remediate PFAS-contaminated soil

PFAS contamination is a major environmental challenge in the Belgian region of Flanders, as well as in many other regions. The conventional method of remediation involves excavating the soil and transporting it to specialised facilities, which function like washing machines. While effective, this process is costly and has the negative side effect of removing the majority of nutrients from the soil making it unusable for farmers.

In collaboration with the University of Hasselt, C-biotech undertook in-depth research on bio-based remediation methods, specifically using hemp. The research shows that hemp roots absorb PFAS and nitrate and store them in the plant’s leaves and heads. The stems of the plant remain pollution-free and can be processed into durable and strong building materials. 

The growing process of hemp is very ecological: the crops require minimal water and pesticide use, and can be harvested up to three times a year. Besides their purifying effect, hemp roots bring oxygen back into the soil and create space for water to penetrate deeper into the ground. Hemp plants also remove 9-15 tons of CO2 per hectare from the air.

SDG - 15: Life on land

C-biotech impact 2023

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Global scaling of nature-based remediation with +Earth+

To further scale the nature-based remediation and carbon sequestration approach with hemp, we founded +Earth+ . Their aim is to create the largest soil and CO2 cleanup with nature.

It is an international platform to leverage technology in nature-based generative solution and maps clean-up projects around the world.

This will help creating maximum transparency and trust which is highly important for one of the next steps on the roadmap: setting up carbon credits for the hemp projects and show the effective remediation of soil.

As a recognition for their efforts and vision, they are part of Microsoft’s global program on Entrepreneurship for Positive Impact!

SDG - 17: Partnerships for the goals
SDG - 15: Life on land