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Frequently Asked Questions and Definitions and Abbreviations Related to Bioremediation:

What is Bioremediation?
Bioremediation is the process of microbes transforming and breaking down or destroying environmental pollution or contaminates. Bioremediation is natural process utilizing microbes, also known as microorganisms or bacteria to remove environmental pollutants from water, soil, or gas. Accelerated bioremediation is a process of enhancing this natural process and maximizing it's efficiency with the addition of specific hydrocarbon remediating microbes, chemicals and biostimulants or other components. Biostimulating is adjusting the environmental conditions present in order to enhance natural bioremediation. Intrinsic Bioremediation is the natural process of contaminate decomposition with only the native microbial consortia. For more information about Bioremediation go to U.S. Geological Survey.

What do Alabaster Bioremediation Products Do?
Bioremediate. Alabaster Corp. manufactures "The World's Best Bioremediation Materials!" We produce Industrial Class (Strength) Chemicals which can be used for bioremediation and emergency response as well as specialty Microbial Cleaners and Microbial Blends. Our products are designed to provide faster, more efficient and more cost effective solutions to your environmental needs. We make products for hydrocarbon remediation, tank cleaning, emergency response, bioremediation, degassing, degreasing, dispersant and many other applications.

 

Our products can be used as a system incorporating industrial grade cleaning solutions, specially cultivated microbial blends and biostimulating ingredients. Our products are designed to chemically break down hydrocarbons for ingestion by microbes, stimulate native microbial consortia and to promote a enhanced biological environment for the microbes to flourish. When our products are properly applied superior results are achieved! Hydrocarbon contamination is reduced to harmless byproducts of carbon dioxide, water, and trace amounts of organic salts. After the hydrocarbons are remediated, the surplus microbes stabilize or return to natural levels.

 

What do Alabaster Bioremediation Products contain?
Alabaster Bioremediation Products include various patented and proprietary formulations. Depending upon the product, these contain many different specialty cleaning agents. These include biodegradable surfactants, solvents, emulsifiers, degassing agents, nutrients, biostimulants, and specialty strain, non-pathogenic bacteria. Our products contain some of the highest quality, most expensive, often food grade materials available as well as biostimulants to stimulate and prolong the microbial population. Most of our products can be used without microbes as powerful cleaning agents and with microbes for bioremediation. Some of our products contain microbes or microbial spores mixed within. For other products, we custom blend the microbes then add them during application.

 

What is a microbe and how is it a part of your system?
Bacteria. A microbe is a microscopic organism or bacteria. These microbes are found naturally throughout the world within the environment. We choose and custom blend our microbes based on their ability to degrade and remediate various hydrocarbons. These microbial blends are specifically cultured to degrade hydrocarbons. Alabaster Corp. Microbial Blends are specially cultivated in a laboratory for the accelerated bioremediation of hydrocarbons. Think of our microbes like Special Forces or Marines! They have been trained for a specific purpose. To seek and destroy hydrocarbons as efficiently as possible.

 

Can microbes be used alone?
The microbes by themselves are not very effective. Hydrocarbon contamination must be broken down chemically first. This must be accomplished in such a way that during the process and simultaneously, biological activity is being promoted. It is really not as simple as just using a soap and adding any kind of bacteria.

 

This is one of the largest misunderstandings in bioremediation. The microbes don’t really “eat” the petroleum. The hydrocarbon is chemically transformed into a different state so that a food source is available for the correct kind of microbes. During this process the correct type and amount of hydrocarbon degrading microbes can begin to further transform the hydrocarbon components into environmentally harmless by products. This has to be done in such a way that the microbes are sustained with proper nutrients in order to maintain their population, etc. Simultaneously the hydrocarbons must be transformed. The timing is actually important during this process to achieve maximum results.

 

Additionally, the microbes are not capable of selecting and attracting themselves to the hydrocarbon components. Microbes do not seek out or otherwise travel to hydrocarbons for food the way a mammal hunts for food. The microbes have to be bonded or mixed into the part or components within the hydrocarbon which the microbes can transform into a food source. This is why one reason our products either contain or cause an emulsification effect. There is some risks involved with this process. Again may people do not truly understand the bioremediation process. Most hydrocarbons can kill microbes. In fact most microbes cannot survive in certain amounts of hydrocarbon contamination, and the destruction of microbes when exposed to hydrocarbon components can produce by-products which cause an imbalance. This is why natural bioremediation or “indigenous bioremediation” is very slow. Naturally the process does take place. However it takes many, many years. The correct kind of microbes may be present. However, they are not present in the correct amount. Additionally, the hydrocarbons must breakdown and this take a long time naturally. Alabaster Corp. products solve these complications.

 

What is a surfactant and how is it a part of your system?
A surfactant is typically considered a substance, usually a chemical, or drug used for reducing the surface tension of liquids. This can be any agent such as a detergent or a soap that reduces the surface tension of liquids so that the liquid spreads out, instead of collecting in droplets. A surfactant can be a natural or synthetic chemical that promotes or enhances the wetting, solubilization, and emulsification of various types of organic chemicals. The Industrial Class Microbial Cleaners manufactured by Alabaster Corp. contain many different surfactant ingredients blended within in order to deal with a much greater range of contaminate materials. This insures our products can effectively break down a large host of contaminates. The surfactants we use break down the surface tension of the hydrocarbon molecules so that they are more conducive to microbial degradation or bioremediation. This is what our product are specifically designed for.

 

Can the site be treated with only surfactants?
See the definition for “Plow and Pray.” Clients have often questioned the possibility of using only “surfactants” or Alabaster Corp. CS2 to bring TPH Level down. Sometimes they question about achieving a partial reduction with surfactant only, then using microbes to reduce the remaining contamination.

 

This is not the preferred method and it will not achieve any significant cost reductions. Using only a surfactant will not truly reduce the contamination. A surfactant can be used to show a temporary TPH reduction however these test results will be deceiving. A surfactant applied to the surface of contaminated soils will only wash the contamination down into deeper levels. The term surfactant is actually a broad and general chemical term. Technically “surfactant” can be used to describe any number of substances used to break the surface tension of a liquid. This can include solvents, etc. Water is a solvent. So is naphthalene. Again, the use of surfactants alone could actually spread out the waste hydrocarbons or at least just compound them within one particular depth. This depends upon the type of “surfactant” used. The client could actually greatly increase the pollution at the subject this way.

 

Alabaster Corp. products are designed specifically for the bioremediation process. Our products are designed to accelerate the natural process. The formulas we make are very special and these are not commodity type chemicals. This is the reason why attempting to use a inexpensive “surfactant” by itself will result in failure. Our products do contain surfactants or the combined components will cause a “surfactant” effect. In fact some of our products contain as many as between 7 to 30 different surfactants within formulation. These were chosen specifically based upon how they react during the bioremediation process in unison with other chemicals blended into our formulations. Also, many of our products either contain or cause an emulsification effect.

 

Surfactant and emulsification process always go hand in hand. This is another process which is misunderstood. Simply adding an “emulsifier” chemical does not necessarily work. It takes a special process to maintain the viability of the microbes during the hydrocarbon breakdown process. There are actually several different types or rather uses for “emulsification” during this process. For instance, one of the uses for “emulsification” is designed to combine the microbe with the hydrocarbon components the microbes use for “food.” Otherwise the microbes would not attach to the hydrocarbon food source. Another form of emulsification activity is designed to protect the microbes from the hazardous components and by-products of the hydrocarbon breakdown, as well as to protect the microbes from various components and byproducts within our own formulas during this process.

 

So it’s important for the client to understand that Alabaster Corp. products should not be categorized as simply being “surfactants” or “soaps.” Within that context, then we will be the first to agree that less expensive surfactants can be acquired in various markets. However as explained, these less expensive products will not work. Otherwise companies would not be contacting Alabaster Corp.

 

What is an emulsifier and how is it a part of your system?
A emulsifier is a natural or synthetic chemical agent that maintains or creates an emulsion. It suspends a finely divided oily or resinous liquid within another liquid. An emulsion is the suspension of one liquid within another liquid. Some examples are oil within water, or fats within milk. Another example is when your trying to wash grease off of your hands with soap and water and you notice a creamy or sudsy build-up allowing you to rinse off the grease, etc… this is the grease and water mixing together which they would not ordinarily do. These are examples of emulsion. The Industrial Class Microbial Cleaners manufactured by Alabaster Corp. contain various emulsifying ingredients. These are designed to form a very tight emulsion which can typically last up to 20 days or more! Most competitive products last about 3 days in the best circumstances. This greatly enhances the overall cleaning ability of our products and it allows the microbes a longer period to degrade the hydrocarbons during bioremediation.

 

What are the nutrients?
In the bioremediation business nutrients are sometimes called biocatalyst or biostimulants. These include products or ingredients which support the stimulation and growth or reproduction of microbes. These can include various fertilizers, oxygen or nitrogen enhancement products. Typically they are organic materials like manure or synthetic chemicals containing nitrates. Our biostimulants dramatically accelerate and prolong the microbes we add as well as the natural microbial population. Alabaster Bioremediation Products contain very powerful nutrients or biocatalysts. Our proprietary microbial booster is best described as "Steroids for Microbes!" When added to bioremediation projects the microbes go nuts! It's a very special bioremediation and hydrocarbon digestion enhancement product. It is designed to activate the existing soil nutrients and stimulate native microbial populations in addition to stimulating and supporting the special hydrocarbon remediating microbes we add to the site. Our biostimulants are a blend of nutrients contain many food grade ingredients which help maintain microbial activity for a prolonged period.

 

What are Cleaning Agents and how do they work?
Alabaster Corp. Bioremediation Products contain many specialty cleaning agents. Typically, cleaning agents include different individual components. Each has a different job. These agents are usually classified as being a surfactant, solvent, wetting or penetrating agent, soponifier, and a builder. Chemical cleaners often contain a combination of these formulated for a specific task. In some products all of these agents are used. In other products only a few depending upon the task required of the cleaning product. Each of these agents has a different purpose. In addition, the type of agents also have different characteristics. For instance, a solvent can be either water or petroleum based depending upon the application. There is obviously a huge difference in the characteristics of each of these materials however, they both can be described as solvents.

 

Typically the abilities or characteristics of a cleaning agent are described as follows:

Penetrating or wetting agents: Causes the water or solvent to surround the waste particles which would otherwise repel the water.

Foaming: Creation bubbles which help lift the waste particles from the surface and encapsulate V.O.C.

Emulsifying: Breaks up waste particles into small droplets which can be dispersed into water or a solvent.

Detergency: Breaks the bond between waste particles and the surface.

Solubilizing: Dissolves the waste particle into the solvent so it is no longer solid.

Dispersing: Spreads or dissipates the waste particles throughout the solution and prevents these from accumulating together.

Oxygenators: These are additives which assist the cleaning as well as increase the oxygen levels within the environment for bioremediation.

Nutrients: These are additives which increase the metabolism of the microbes and create an environment more conducive to bioremediation.

 

For these reasons the actual chemical formula of a particular product can become very complex and proprietary. Surfactants can have various properties. One type of surfactant can have excellent detergent abilities but be a very poor penetrating agent which is antimicrobial and toxic to the environment.

 

For these reasons Alabaster Corp. products are formulated to contain many specific surfactants which are environmentally friendly and non-toxic to microbes. Our products are designed and blended based upon our actual experience in bioremediation of hydrocarbon wastes. They are made with different combinations of specific surfactants, emulsifiers, wetting agents, etc. The synergy created between these different ingredients make a more effective, high quality, environmentally friendly, chemical cleaner which will cause accelerated bioremediation. Alabaster Corp. products were designed by a PhD in Chemistry with over 35 years of practical experience. Our products are made more concentrated than most cleaning or remediation products. Even at the higher dilution rates often recommended there is still a very strong concentration of the necessary chemical components available.

 

The ingredients within Alabaster Corp. chemical products use a combination of materials which have just the right balance of surfactant, detergent, emulsifying, solubilizing, dispersing, wetting, and foaming abilities. In unison with these chemical ingredients, Alabaster Corp. products have nutrient and oxygenating components which accelerate the microbes.

 

Are your bioremediation products corrosive?
No. The pH of the products is approximately 7.8. The microbes work in situations where the pH can range from 4.5 to 11.5 - a greater range of viability than with other microbial products. Some industries still use many caustic or acidic product for degreasing… our products offer a environmentally conscious option.

 

How is pH a factor in cleaning?
There are two types of matter which become factors in remediation or any type of cleaning for that matter. These are either organic or inorganic. Organic matter is matter that contains carbon. This of course includes hydrocarbons. Inorganic matter includes things like rocks and minerals.

Typically, organic waste materials such as hydrocarbon wastes require alkaline based cleaners. Inorganic waste materials such as corrosion, lime, oxidation, minerals, rocks, etc. require acid based cleaners. Petroleum waste materials (organic) usually require more alkaline or petroleum based cleaners. A combination of both organic and inorganic materials such as hydrocarbon contaminated soils require a combination cleaner which balances the pH and effects of the ingredients.

Petroleum hydrocarbons such as grease, oils, wax, gasoline, diesels, and other products made from petroleum contain no water. In fact these are hydrophobic which means they repel water. These do not have a pH. These materials often require another petroleum based solvent to remove them. There are also materials which contain both inorganic and organic materials. Such as soil contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons. This may require a cleaner with a combination of properties. Alabaster Corp. bioremediation products offer this combination of properties.

 

What kinds of microbes are in Alabaster Bioremediation Products?
Our Industrial Class Microbial Blends are extremely concentrated. These are specifically acclimated species of naturally occurring, non-pathogenic microbes. These species are extremely effective in a very diverse range of hydrocarbon remediation. Upon application onto a spill or contaminated soil, they germinate and become active within minutes. In good conditions, they multiply exponentially within minutes. Our microbes are specially cultivated in a laboratory for accelerated bioremediation. They are actually fed hydrocarbons to insure they are effective. We custom blend up to 86 different strains at a concentration of approximately 200 billion microbes per gallon or per gram with our products. Alabaster quality control ensures our customers of plenty of viable microbes in a quality product that will work to bioremediate organic and hydrocarbon contaminants. Typically these are most effective in a temperature range between 50°F to 100°F. They are tolerant of both seawater and brackish water and work in a pH range of 4.0 to 11.5. A greater range of viability than with other microbial products. Upon application onto a spill or contaminated area, they germinate and become active instantly. In good conditions, they multiply exponentially within minutes. These begin to digest the wastes as long as all the necessary ingredients of water, oxygen and a food or waste source are present. By products of their degradation process are carbon dioxide, water, and trace amounts of organic salts.

 

How many microbes per gallon of Alabaster Bioremediation Products?
All microbes are not created equal! The quality is as important as the quantity. This is a good question. The amount of microbes added to a bioremediation project is important. You want to get what you pay for and questions about the amount of microbes per pound, gallon, or gram are reasonable. However, all microbes are not created equal! The quality is as important as the quantity. Our Industrial Class Microbial Blends are specially cultivated in a laboratory for the accelerated bioremediation of hydrocarbons. Think of our microbes like Special Forces or Marines! They have been trained for a specific purpose. To seek and destroy hydrocarbons as efficiently as possible. Efficient they are! Under the right circumstances, our microbes can hammer hydrocarbon contamination within a few weeks or months instead of the many years it takes for regular or non-acclimated microbes to work. Our microbes are hungry for hydrocarbons. Our microbes are raised or evolved with hydrocarbons present as a food source. So hydrocarbons are what they go for! If we say one gallon of our product contains 200 billion microbes… one of our competitors will change their claim to say their product contains 400 billion. The question is how effective are they? Ours are extremely effective! We custom blend up to 86 different strains of hydrocarbon digesting microbes at a concentration which starts out at approximately 200 billion microbes or per gram with our products. This in turn expands by an order of magnitude upon application. Our quality control ensures our customers plenty of viable microbes in a quality product that will work to bioremediation organic and hydrocarbon contaminants. In fact, we typically provide far more microbes than theoretically needed.

 

What are the differences between microbial products and enzymes products?
First let's figure out what an "enzyme" is. An enzyme is basically defined as being a complex protein which encourages a biochemical reaction by acting as a catalyst. In the bioremediation business there have been many enzyme products available. These are often sold as bioremediation products in their own right. Enzymes are not the same as microbes! They do not bioremediate hydrocarbons by themselves! This has been a point of confusion for many customers. However, enzymes can help or assist in bioremediation. Think of it this way… your saliva contains enzymes. Your saliva does not break up and digest food by itself. It only helps the process. In bioremediation, enzymes can help the microbes get to the carbon within the hydrocarbon. They do not "digest the waste." It's often said that enzyme help liquefy the waste. Practically this works well enough but technically we are wrong again. Remember, the enzymes facilitate a biochemical reaction by acting as a catalyst. In our situation, once the hydrocarbon waste has been chemically broken down with surfactants and the waste has been emulsified or mixed with water and other chemicals, then the enzymes help facilitate the process of microbial digestion. This process works provided of course that you have the appropriate amount of the right kind of microbes as well as the right biostimulants, oxygen, water, etc. So enzymes help change the form of the hydrocarbon. Microbes actually produce their own enzymes which help "digest" waste changing it into harmless byproducts. You can have an enzyme product without microbes. However, without bioremediating microbes you are not going to bioremediate the waste. Our bioremediation products do contain enzymes in addition to microbes. However, it is the microbes which get the job done! Our microbial products have the ability to revert into a spore form when conditions are not favorable. Alabaster microbes revert into a spore or seed form and will re-activate when conditions are ideal. For instance once a food source is present the microbes will become active again and start digesting wastes and pollution.

 

What's the difference between Alabaster Bioremediation Products and others?
Alabaster Corp. manufactures "The World's Best Bioremediation Materials!" The quality and economics for these products are unbeatable! They were made with the highest quality, most expensive and often "food grade" ingredients. They were chemically engineered to break down a wide range of hydrocarbon contamination and accelerate bioremediation simultaneously. These products have very powerful penetrating, degreasing, encapsulating, emulsifying, cleaning properties, and solvent ability. However, they are all biodegradable. Alabaster Corp. products were designed by a PhD in Chemistry with over 35 years of practical experience. Our products are made more concentrated than most cleaning or remediation products. Even at the higher dilution rates often recommended there is still a very strong concentration of the necessary chemical components available. Alabaster Corp. products have a proven, long term track record. Our microbes are specially cultivated in a laboratory for accelerated bioremediation and specially blended for use with our products. Our products have been designed for a purpose. If you found cleaning or degreasing products as "strong" as ours you would kill the microbes! Other bioremediation products simply do not have the same versatility of our products. They are not as effective! Our products are made to Clean AND Bioremediate hydrocarbons. It's our single minded focus and goal to make "The World's Best Bioremediation Materials!"

 

What about similar bioremediation products on the market?
There are some good products available if you know how to use them… but not like ours. When we started this business there were very few people anywhere in the world who understood bioremediation. This is still the case. You can risk purchasing a simple, re-packaged detergent which was probably designed for laundry or a septic system from one of many businesses that jumped into the bioremediation business. Dilute it further to fit your budget and pour it onto the ground with poor results. When your project fails will you say bioremediation doesn't work? Do you want to have laboratory test results proving you dropped the TPH from 80,000 mg/kg down to as low as 559 mg/kg or much better ? Or do you want to be responsible for spending a large amount of your company's money on repackaged soap you poured onto the ground because it cost less per gallon?

 

Are the any competitive technologies?
Not really. Historically, there are other microbe or bug manufacturing companies. However, they mostly produce microbes. Only in recent years have these companies started utilizing advanced or enhanced bioremediation which is using microbes with advancement solutions. Unfortunately, many of these companies lack experience in the bioremediation of pollution. They seldom know how to actually fix the problem. Usually a consultant or another third party contractor actually applies the process. The problem is that they often don’t want to actually solve the problem and clean up the waste. They prefer to research and test the pollution for several years. That’s how they make money. Most of the large environmental projects started over the last couple of decades have not accomplished their goals because there is no incentive to actually remediate the pollution.

 

Alabaster Corp. products are designed to actually bioremediate the pollution. They are a solution to pollution. We don’t make our money on prolonged testing and research or the operation of equipment. Our success come from actually bioremediating the contamination and moving on to the next project.

 

Does Petro Clean Put Out or Extinguish Fires?
No Petro Clean does not technically “put out fires.” It is not sold to put out fires but to help prevent them for occurring in the first place. There are competitive products such as Micro-Blaze Out® and other similar products that are designed for this purpose. Some of the biggest companies in the world make foam or foaming products for this purpose. These products are designed to help fight and put out or extinguish various classifications of fire, etc. Petro Clean is not designed for this. In enough volume or if a large enough amount of Petro Clean was used… sure it could put out a fire. So could enough water! But we don’t sell any of our products for that.

The reasons for this are because these fire fighting foam products… no matter how effective they may be are subject to legal liabilities. Alabaster Corp. does not want to be legally liable for a death or accident which involves our products. There are too many factors involved when there is a fire. Especially an industrial fire or a large refinery accident. This is serious business and it takes real specialist to deal with this kind of dangerous explosion or volatile situation. We think firefighters are the best people in the world! They really do save live and should be accepted in society as heroes and nothing less! However, they can get killed quite easy in a large fire. Especially if they are using a product that cannot guarantee their survival!

Quite simply put… even the best products in the world cannot guarantee survival or the extinguishment of a fire in a catastrophic event! If anyone tells you otherwise then you had better be careful. Some of the best firemen using some of the best products in existence have been killed trying to fight fires. Alabaster Corp. does not want to be responsible or legally related to an event such as this in any way.

Again, some of the biggest companies in the world make products for this… and they are or may be subject to the legal ramifications of a major lawsuit because their product was used in a situation where a brave firefighter was burnt alive trying to extinguish a fire with their foaming agent. Alabaster Corp. will have no conscious part of this.

Our products or specifically, Petro Clean is designed to prevent volatile fuel spills from igniting in the first place. If applied properly it can do this within the context of a reasonably controlled situation! We could very easily make a version of Petro Clean into a foaming, fire suppression product and start making money selling this product. It’s tempting because it’s big money! We could even do as some of our competitors and sell this product as a “cure all” for emergency response, fire suppression, and bioremediation, etc. No way! It’s not worth it to us. By nature those foaming products use very little chemicals to produce a great deal of fire suppression foam. It doesn’t matter how much we could sell or how cheap we could sell it the risk of having a major law firm going at us with everything they have is not worth it… more importantly, the risk of someone dying because they didn’t use enough cheap foam to put out a humongous, raging hellfire is something we will have nothing to do with!

This is not to say the we think all of the companies selling related products are bad! We are sure that these companies would not put profits before lives! We are sure that there are many companies making related products that invest every effort and much research and money into safety, etc. But for Alabaster Corp. no, we are not selling, marketing, making or claiming our products will give you immortality during a fire! Only that some of our products can assist or help limit the possiblility of a fire if applied properly and under the right circumstances, etc.

 

Which product do I use?
Call us and ask! We want to be your Solution to Pollution! All of our products are designed for Industrial Cleaning and Bioremediation. The application depends upon your needs. Look at our list of Industrial Class Microbial Cleaners and our list of Industrial Class Microbial Blends to help you decide. All of our products are available in concentrates or ready to use. Please feel free to call us for application instructions and product recommendations or any other information you may need. We will have an Applications and Ratios page on the website very soon with both general application information as well as some specific scenarios for you to use as examples.

 

How are your products packaged?

Alabaster Corp. Chemicals, Microbial Cleaners, and Concentrates are available as follows:

1 U.S. Gallon container, 4 per case, 48 cases per pallet = 193 Gallons.
2 ½ U.S. Gallon container, 4 per case
5 U.S. Gallon buckets, 32 buckets per pallet = 160 Gallons
55 U.S. Gallon drums, 4 drums per pallet = 220 Gallons
250 U.S. Gallon tote.
330 U.S. Gallon tote.
 

How are your microbes packaged?
The dry microbes we sell come in biodegradable packages which can be torn open or even dissolved in solution. These are typically packaged in 1 pound bags available in any amount. When manufactured the dry microbes are sprayed onto a bran meal (or other) medium because it acts as a safe carrier and a food source for the microbes. This is what you see when you look at the package. It looks like brown sugar and may smell like petroleum… because we feed them oil. Our liquid microbes are mixed into a carrier solution or one of our products ready for application. Usually we sell the dry microbes to mix with our chemical product for soil and water or industrial applications. The liquid microbes are usually pre-mixed in spore form into our chemicals. These are usually used for grease trap and commercial applications. The exception would be some of our emergency response products. These emergency response products are first and foremost designed to break down a volatile fuel spill and decrease the chance of ignition. This process included emulsification of the hydrocarbons with water. Depending upon the Alabaster Corp product you are using, an emergency response product may also have a large amount of microbial spores mixed into the liquid solution so it will also bioremediate. Due to certain regulatory requirements we may or may not be able to advertise this secondary bioremediation ability for certain products.

 

What is the shelf life of your products?
The typical answer is (3) three years plus. Practically speaking, our chemical products have an indefinite shelf life. Opened or unopened. They are chemicals and they will last for a very long time. Maybe years? In general shelf life is not an issue for un-activated products or product without microbes. Diluting the products with water does not seriously effect them either. Once microbes are added to the chemicals products the shelf life becomes limited. The microbes will begin to develop within a short time once you add them to the products. We recommend using the products for bioremediation within a few days to a week after activation. The microbes are living cultures and they need various natural components to survive and be effective. It stands to reason that living microbes can only last so long within a container.

 

How do I activate the microbes? I put the microbes into the solution. It doesn't look like it's dissolving. What am I doing wrong?
You're doing nothing wrong. The dry microbial blend will activate. Preferably, the idea is for you to add the dry microbial blend to the concentrated solution before you begin dilution with water. Then allow the mix to sit for a short period of anywhere between 1 and 24 hours before application. This way the dry microbial blend becomes mixed into the solution adequately. The microbes begin to develop and grow, populate and multiply. This is preferable but the bugs are not that picky. Think of it like making a bottle of beer or cider if you like. You add the microbes (like yeast) to the chemical solution (like fruit juice). It doesn't matter much if the yeast is on the bottom of container (bottle) or if it is floating on top. It will begin to activate. Obviously if you give it some time the bacteria will grow and begin to change the composition of the original liquid. If you first add or pour the microbes into the solution the microbes will basically clump or collect together and float on the surface. This is in part because of the surface density. Also it is because the microbes are sprayed on to a neutral carrier substance when they are manufactured. In most cases what you are seeing is bran meal. When the dry microbes are manufactured or cultivated they are sprayed onto bran meal and then dehydrated. The bran acts as a safe food source and a safe carrier for the microbes. If you add the microbes to an empty container then add the solution the microbes will clump or collect at the bottom. The solution is a dense liquid. For best results you want to mix the bugs into the solution as you are pouring or adding water. That way they mix well. If your bioremediation product is already diluted and ready to use just add the bugs and either shake or stir them in. If this is not an option don’t worry about it. When you apply the bioremediation product, bugs and chemicals to the contaminated soil or water you can till and mix it well at that time.

 

Why do some cleaning products cloud up at higher temperatures but seem to improve in cleaning ability?
There is often some confusion here when talking about a chemical’s cleaning or degreasing ability. The cloud point is usually an indicator of a cleaning agent or a surfactant reaching it’s maximum efficiency. Alabaster Corp. products contain multiple surfactants and each surfactant may have a different cloud point. You could estimate an average however, that could sill bee off depending upon various factors like how much water has been added to the original product. If this is a factor you should estimate based upon the lowest cloud point. Alabaster Corp. products may being to cloud at one temperature because of one ingredient and still work effectively because of other ingredients. The temperature issue is basically molecular activity. Molecules expand when heated. This is the reason the product will clean better after it reaches a higher temperature, within a certain range of course. In general, after the temperature becomes too high the surfactants will begin to fall out of solution and loose some of it’s properties. The solution will separate and stratify. Practically speaking, once an oil is heated within certain parameters it will flow easier and be more susceptible to the effects of a product designed to break the surface tension, etc. With cleaning agents in general, the temperature just before the final cloud point is where the product or the surfactants within a cleaning product reach their most efficient cleaning abilities.

 

Will the microbes mutate?
No. Alabaster Bioremediation and Microbial Products contain naturally occurring microbial species. These are not genetically engineered microbes. In other words they do not mutate and begin to eat other things! That’s only in scary movies. Although something keeps stealing all my peanut butter cookies and sodas from the office fridge…

 

Will these microbes harm our water supply or wetlands?
Absolutely not! The microbes or bacillus spores are already naturally present in the soils and waterways of wetlands. The microbes used in our products are essentially all natural and the same microbes could be naturally occurring in the proper environment. Only Alabaster Corp. microbes have been especially cultivated in a laboratory for accelerated bioremediation. Think of our microbes like Special Forces or Marines! In their natural day to day environment they are no different than any other… only they have been trained for a specific purpose. To seek and destroy an enemy… hydrocarbons, as efficiently as possible. Efficient they are! Our microbes can hammer hydrocarbon contamination within a few weeks or months instead of the many years it takes for naturally occurring microbes to figure it out. But they only attack the enemy!

 

If they are already in the wetlands, why not use the existing microbes there to clean up any contamination?
That is called intrinsic bioremediation. The indigenous or existing microbes can take many years to bioremediate if it ever happens! Typically the natural microbes have evolved to digest the typical flora and fauna found in wetlands. When hydrocarbons enter wetlands the microbes present are neither in large enough numbers to start digesting the influx of material nor are they adapted to digesting that particular type of waste. They usually either die off from the volume and toxicity of the contamination or become so reduced in number that it could take many years before the surviving populations of bacteria become large enough and acclimated enough to start effectively remediating the waste. In the meantime, the pollution could percolate through the soils into a drinking water supply.

 

Will the microbes eat my asphalt roadway?
No. Due to the density of the material on a road or paved surface, it would take massive amounts of chemicals to break down the asphalt and an extremely long time before anything occurred. The hydrocarbons or other chemicals left on the roadway are much more cause for concern. They can pit and deteriorate the road surface quickly. In addition to the environmental concerns, fuel and oil spills can cause accidents. In other words they do not mutate and begin to eat other things! That’s only in scary movies.

 

Will the microbes eat oil reserves in the ground?
No. The microbes do not have enough oxygen or water, etc. in pure oil. They will not spread into oil holding areas, etc. However, this is where they originate. Remember these microbial strains are hydrocarbon acclimated microbes. They evolved around naturally occurring oil reserves.

The question is similar to asking… If people can drink water, can they drink all the water? People do drink water. People are made of mostly water. People need water to live. The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are made of water. It doesn’t matter if your drop 20 million people into the center of the Pacific Ocean. They can not drink all the water. They will drown. In order for the people to drink this water, the water must be desalinated, purified and bottled into small amounts. This is what our products do. Our products “purify the hydrocarbons” for the microbes so they can get the carbon component. Our products break down the carbon into very small particles so the microbes can utilize this as a “food source.”

 

Will the microbes eat dirt or metal?
No, only organic materials…but they can eat the oils right off.

 

Will PETRO-CLEAN™ kill my grass?
No. In fact many golf courses regularly use our products to spot treat fuel spills on the green. Hydraulic or other oil and fuel spills are a golf course superintendents nightmare. Simply dilute the product with water according to directions, spray it on the spill and apply more water. The grass will survive… it’s magic!

 

How long does it take the microbes to eat or bioremediate the oil?
It all depends on surface conditions, chemicals, oxygen, water and nutrients. If the microbes are only poured into a bucket or drum it could take a very long time unless you have aeration equipment, plenty of water and monitoring for nutrients. If the oil is spread thin, like a roadway, it may be digested in a short time as long as conditions are good. The idea is to break down the hydrocarbons effectively first with the chemicals so that the microbes can do their work. If our products are properly applied they can dramatically reduce the TPH within hours, days or weeks depending upon the situation. Once you’ve determined the type and levels of contamination, we recommend the products and application you need. Soil and water contamination can take some time. For emergency response to fuel spills or degassing tanks… Petro-Clean™ is ready to rock!

 

What are the typical costs of bioremediation?
Alabaster Corp. products are priced very competitively from various standpoints. First of all, it’s not the price per gallon that matters. It’s the effectiveness of the products that is the true issue. When Alabaster Corp. products are applied properly in most scenarios the cost is reflected in an expense per “cubic yard”, etc. This is the issue in price competition. Alabaster Corp. products have always achieved a very reasonable cost per cubic yard or cubic meter value. In fact, typically our products are unbelievably inexpensive. Second, our products are sold as super concentrates. Most competitive products describe themselves as concentrates. However, they do not have the latitude of our products. Alabaster Corp. products are in concentrate which can be heavily diluted with water into “concentrates” which can be further diluted up to 10 part with water before actual application. CS2 alone can be diluted with between 30 to 60 parts water depending upon the use. One gallon of this is capable of treating as many as three to four cubic yards of contaminated soil.

Treatment costs for bioremediation can vary depending upon many factors. The type of waste contamination and the amounts or concentration of pollution effect the amount of bioremediation materials required. The time frame estimated to complete the project is also a factor. Costs for bioremediation products such as microbial blends, chemicals, biostimulants, etc. can range according to where and what you are actually purchasing. Alabaster Corp. Chemicals can range between $10. per gallon to $40. per gallon before dilution depending upon the situation. Cost for products per cubic yard can range from between around $7. to around $40. The treatment can be tailored to fit almost any budget.

The quality of bioremediation materials is the major factor. This can mean the difference between bioremediation success and failure. Because a bioremediation product claims to have surfactants, emulsifiers, nutrients, etc. within it’s formula does not mean any product which has these items will do the same job. Nearly every household soap or detergent has surfactants, emulsifiers and detergents within. There is a big difference between a product designed similar to laundry detergent and a product designed to encapsulate volatile organic compounds, break the surface tension of the waste contamination, make a hydrocarbon chain soluble, emulsify the microbes and biostimulating ingredients with the hydrocarbon and water and simultaneously accelerate the metabolism and population of the bacteria.

The chemistry behind this process is easily underestimated. Many products available may help disperse the hydrocarbons however, they actually add to the pollution or harm the microbes. It’s imperative to use bioremediation products with strong chemical and biological understanding behind it’s development. It’s not cost effective to purchase products for half the usual price if you have to perform three times as many treatments.

Microbial blends can vary also. There are many microbe manufacturing companies which have been manufacturing bugs for waste water treatment related processes for years. However these microbes often have little experience behind them in regards to remediating gasoline range organics and other complex hydrocarbons. Unfortunately, many of these companies lack experience in bioremediation of pollution.

Historically, costs for land farming can easily be between $50. to $130. per cubic yard. This process IS NOT accelerated bioremediation. No additional bioremediation products are used. Land farming only utilizes the naturally present microbes. The contamination is spread out over a large area and tilled. Although this is less expensive in terms of product usage, the actual costs and liability of maintaining the contamination for a prolonged period will off set the short term savings. It can take mother nature hundreds or even thousands of years to naturally biodegrade contamination. During this period the contamination remains a liability. It can migrate or spread. An additional problem is that the land is effectively unusable during this period.

Typically, incineration can be several hundred dollars per cubic yard. Often around $500. more per cubic yard. Incineration can cost as much as 10 time the cost of bioremediation. It is generally cost prohibitive due in part to the limited locations permitted to incinerate contaminated waste. Additionally, the costs and liability of transportation as well as the energy used and the air pollution by-products create additional problems. In general, incineration and land-farming are expensive and problematic.

In contrast, bioremediation offer significant cost saving and remains the most environmentally friendly alternative overall. Typical industry estimates for bioremediation range between $16. per cubic meter and $13. per cubic yard. Enhanced bioremediation can range $30. to $100. per cubic meter or $20 to $80 per cubic yard. $16. to $35. per cubic meter is common for soil treatment.

However, there may be a secondary treatments requiring much less material to achieve the same proportion of pollution reduction. Remediating heavy sludge or tank cleaning is different. As is degassing and cleaning vessels and tanks. Factors such as estimating for the reduction in volatiles, and the gallons of waste are issues. Once again, the quality of the bioremediation products as well as experience in application are the most important factors in bioremediation.

Depending upon size of the project and the time frame required Alabaster Corp. products can achieve excellent results for between as little as $7. to $30. per cubic yard.

 

Will this be cost effective for my project?
Alabaster Corp. offers excellent pricing breaks on our products. The quality and economics for our bioremediation products are unbeatable! For large projects and where shipping costs are a factor this results in substantial savings! You cannot get more “bang for the buck!” All of our products are sold in concentrated forms.

Alabaster Corp. Regular Concentrate products are effective when diluted to as little as 5% to 10%. 1 gallon of regular concentrates like PETRO-CLEAN™, SEA-BRAT#4™, BCC#1™, BGP#1™, etc. will make a recommended 10 gallons of ready to use product. Alabaster Corp. Super Concentrate products are effective when diluted to as little as 2% to 3%. 1 gallon of our Super Concentrates like CS1 and CS2 can make between 30 to 50 gallons or ready to use product. In many soil applications 1 gallon of Super Concentrate with as little as ¼ to ½ lbs of microbes will effectively treat between 3 to 4 cubic yards of soil depending upon the level of contamination.
 

How do I become a distributor?
Contact us! We try to be flexible with our distributors. There are many possible arraignments which can be made. We want the world to use bioremediation products as an environmental alternative. We believe in this strongly. We do offer protected territories and markets. Depending upon circumstances, some of our distributors are required to maintain an amount of product in stock and a yearly purchase amount. In other cases we work out a commission schedule depending upon the sale. Many whom we do business with are independent contractors often working as consultants and project engineers, etc. We also have online marketing groups. These are not typically required to stock products. We will pay commissions for any sale you can generate. If you have a project you are interested in using Alabaster Corp. products on contact us and we will work out a deal with you. We provide all the application and technical information we can based upon our experience.

 

What are the limitations to bioremediation?
There is much misinformation about bioremediation and a general lack of experience with the actual process of bioremediation in most industries. Bioremediation is often underestimated and neglected by industry as an alternative to pollution control. Despite the obvious economic and environmental benefits of bioremediation, industries tend to maintain the status quo of waste hauling and disposal practices which have not remedied the pollution. Traditional industry pollution control practices tend to favor the transport and relocation of waste as opposed to the transformation of waste into harmless by products.

 

There has been a huge entrepreneurial interest in the bioremediation industry over the last decade and a subsequent increase in available bioremediation products within the last few years. However, the correct application as well as the formulation of bioremediation products (chemicals, microbes, nutrients, etc.) is typically over simplified to the point of being insufficient for successful treatment. A casual attitude about the process of successful bioremediation has given birth to many instant experts with little experience. The quality of the bioremediation products available at large is questionable as many businesses have entered the industry with the objective of repackaging and remarketing existing products originally designed for a different purpose. Due to these factors, evaluating the actual costs of biotreatment can be challenging. Although bioremediation is comparatively much less expensive than traditional legal methods of remediation the pricing of bioremediation products can range dramatically. This is another reflection of a casual attitude towards the quality of the products. Despite popular and political support for alternative environmental technologies and practices regulatory agencies often acknowledge bioremediation reluctantly. Environmental regulations can be confusing and inconstant about the use of bioremediation. Especially between the state and federal levels. In some cases, regulations seem to specify more established and often hazardous practices.

 

Depending upon the situation appropriate product application may be challenging. For bioremediation to be effective the microbes have to be in contact with the waste which is usually hydrocarbons. For accelerated bioremediation, the hydrocarbon waste must be broken down with specialized chemicals and specific blends of microbes must be utilized, often in series depending upon the nature of the waste. The microbes have a limited life span which reaches maximum efficiency typically within 15 to 20 days and begins to decrease after about 30 days. At this point, if required additional microbes must be added to maintain the accelerated rate of remediation. Unqualified application of the products can result in project failure. Various chemicals and contaminates may be toxic to microbes. Microbes cannot remediate heavy metals, etc.

 

The advantage with Alabaster Corp. is in our experience. The experience behind our products. Our products have been adjusted and perfected over the years to accomplish our goal of making the best bioremediation products available. Our chemical products were engineered specifically for this purpose. Alabaster Corp. products have been designed so that every ingredient within will facilitate the process of accelerated bioremediation. Our formulas were designed by us. Like a secret recipe if you like. No other company makes our products and these can only be purchased from Alabaster Corp. or our distributors and agents.

 

Are Alabaster Bioremediation Products on any kind of “approved” lists?

 

PETRO-CLEAN™ is on the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Contingency Plan (NCP) Product Schedule. listed as a "Surface Washing Agent." This listing does NOT mean that EPA approves, recommends, licenses, certifies, or authorizes the use of Petro-Clean Emergency Response Solution™ on an oil discharge. This listing means only that data have been submitted to EPA as required by subpart J of the National Contingency Plan, Sec. 300.915.

SEA-BRAT#4™ is on the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Contingency Plan (NCP) Product Schedule. listed as a "Dispersant." This listing does NOT mean that EPA approves, recommends, licenses, certifies, or authorizes the use of SEA-BRAT#4™ on an oil discharge. This listing means only that data have been submitted to EPA as required by subpart J of the National Contingency Plan, Sec. 300.915.
 

PETRO-CLEAN Emergency Response Solution™ is also listed with the U.S. Dept. of Defense, and NASA. It is used by successfully by some of the largest Emergency Response, Firefighting and Hazmat Groups in the world. Alabaster Corp. is an approved vendor with many cities and companies throughout the United States and the World. PETRO-CLEAN™ along with the rest of our products are sold on a regular basis to these entities.

Over the years our products have received various letters of recommendation or inclusion on many commercial and government product lists. Various public and private agencies throughout the United States and the World have added our company and products to approved vendor lists. Our products have been used by the United States Government including the U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Army for various applications. Alabaster Corp. currently has a standing Blanket Purchase Authorization number from the U.S. Navy and a listing in the National Spill Response Directory as a product supplier. Our products were included on the Texas Water Commission Emergency Response Team Schedule before it became the TNRCC or the TCEQ. We have received letters from state Air Quality or other environmental agencies stating that our products effectively reduce volatile organic compounds, bioremediate, and reduce the hazards of ignition. Our products have been used by the Panama Canal Commission on the Panama Canal and the Bridge of the Americas. They have been used and tested by PEMEX within Mexico as well as the governments of Trinidad and Tobago, etc. Our products have been tested, used effectively and approved for use on some level by nearly every major petroleum related company in the U.S.

 

Can I get a free sample?
Give us a call and we can talk about your situation. Our main concern about giving away a free sample is in how you use it. Our products are great as cleaners and degreasers. You can test this. However, actual bioremediation effectiveness requires a little more than pouring our product into a bucket and watching it. You usually need a test area of some hydrocarbon polluted soil. You need to test the TPH or total petroleum hydrocarbons before so you have a background or start level. Then you apply the product with microbes by tilling it into the soil and wetting it down with water. After a short while you test the area again to determine the reduction in TPH. Then you can see some results. We do often provide samples for our customers. We love to give out samples because it’s one of the best sale techniques we could use. Every time we’ve given a sample the customer has come back for more! Usually much more. However, it is cost prohibitive for us to mail out our product by the gallon or even the quart! Especially with all the inquiries we get daily. If you are interested in our bioremediation products give us a call or an email.

 

This works like Magic! What is the secret?
There is no tricks. It really works just like we claim! Our success is based upon a lot of experience combined with science.

 

What types of contaminates or hydrocarbons will Alabaster Products work?

 

Some of the many compounds successfully remediated with Alabaster Bioremediation Products.

 

· Acetone and paint sludge
· Amines
· AN (acrylonitrile)
· Aviation Fuels
· Benzene and related benzene compounds(BTEX)
· Break Fluids
· Chlorinated Hydrocarbons
· Creosote
· Crude Oils
· Diesel
· DMF (dimethylformanide)
· Fats
· Gasoline
· Glycols
· Grease
· Heating Oils
· Hydraulic Fluids
· Kerosene
· Lubricating Oils
· Marine Fuels
· Methanol
· MTBE
· Organic chemical waste
· Paraffin and Waxes
· Petroleum based waste products
· Pipeline and Tower condensations
· Polyurethane resin wastes
· Sludge
· Solvents
· Sulphur Containing Compounds

Definitions and Abbreviations Related to Bioremediation:

These definitions are provided for informational purposes. They are provided within the context of the bioremediation industry and the application of bioremediation and environmental products. As such, this information is not intended to be comprehensive references within the context of science. Commentary has been added as pertinent to the usage of Alabaster Corp. Bioremediation Products.

 

ABIOTIC: Not living. Not biotic or living.

 

ACIDIC:A substance that has a pH less than 5 and has a low concentration of hydroxyl ions (OH-).

 

ACIDOPHILE:Organisms that thrives in acidic conditions. Organism that grows best under acid conditions (down to a pH of 1).

 

ADAPTATION:Change in an organism or population of organisms through which they become more suited to the prevailing environment. Adaptation can be genetic and/or physiological.

 

AEROBE:An organism that can grow in the presence of air.

 

AEROBIC:Aerobic: An environment with plenty of oxygen. An environment that has a partial pressure of oxygen similar to normal atmospheric conditions.

 

ALABASTER CORP.:Manufacturer of the World’s Best Bioremediation Products.

 

ALKALINE:A substance that has a pH greater than 9 and has a low concentration of hydrogen ions (H+).

 

ALKALOPHILE: Organism that grows best under alkaline conditions (up to a pH of 10.5).

 

ANAEROBIC: An environment without oxygen.

 

ANAEROBE: An organism that grows in the absence of oxygen or air.

 

ANAEROBIC RESPIRATION: (In some bacteria) Use of inorganic electron acceptors other than oxygen as terminal electron acceptors for energy yielding oxidative metabolism. NITRATE RESPIRATION is an example of anaerobic respiration.

 

ANOXIC: Literally "without oxygen." An adjective describing a habitat devoid of oxygen.

 

ANTHROPOGENIC: Derived from human activities.

 

AUTOTROPH: An organism that uses carbon dioxide as its source of carbon for growth. (Compare with HETEROTROPH.)

 

BACTERIA: A group of diverse and ubiquitous prokaryotic single-celled microorganisms.

 

BIOACCUMULATION: Intracellular accumulation of environmental pollutants such as heavy metals by living organisms.

 

BIOAUGMENTATION: Introducing or adding microorganisms to the environment that can bioremediate, metabolize, consume, breakdown and grow on specific organic compounds.

 

BIOAVAILABILITY: The availability of chemicals to bioremediation microbes. The availability of microorganisms. This factor determines the ability of the environment to support bioremediation.

 

BOD or BIOCHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND: The requirement for molecular oxygen by microbes during oxidation of biological substances in sewage. The BOD test measures the oxygen consumed (in mg/L) over 5 days at 20 degrees C.

 

BIODEGRADATION: Bioremediation. The breakdown of organic substances by microorganisms.

 

BIOFILTER: Apparatus that biodegrades volatile organic compounds in air by passing the air through media containing biodegrading microbes.

 

BIOMASS: The amount of living matter present in a particular habitat.

 

BIOREMEDIATION: The process by which microbes or living organisms degrade or actually transform various substances, hydrocarbons, toxins, and other hazardous organic contaminants. See ACCELERATED BIOREMEDIATION.

 

BIOSTIMULATION: Increasing or stimulating the activity and ability of microbes to biodegrade and bioremediate contaminants. The addition of electron donors and acceptors. The addition of oxygen, nutrients, minerals, fertilizers, or even other hydrocarbons.

 

BIOTIC: Living. Natural.

 

BIOTRANSFORMATION: Alteration of the structure of a compound by a microbe or other living organism or enzyme. This is the actual and most fundamental process of bioremediation.

 

BIOVENTING: Adding and supplying oxygen in situ to oxygen deprived soil by forcing air through contaminated soil. This can encourage bioremediation. Engineering theory claims this can minimizes the release of volatiles into the atmosphere. This technique is commonly used to remediate soil deep underground and underneath structures since it can be non-invasive. A variation of this can actually involve the release or venting of volatile hydrocarbons and other contaminates into the atmosphere. This in effect evaporates the liquid contaminates.

 

B.R.A.T.: Bioremediation Advancement Technologies. Alabaster Corp. Product line.

 

BROWNFIELD: An abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial or commercial facility where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by a real or perceived environmental contamination. Typically a contaminated industrial site or other site. Often there are government programs available to assist or encourage remediation and redevelopment.

 

BTEX: Benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylenes. Toxic and carcinogenic hydrocarbons. These are V.O.C. and these are flammable, explosive and volatile. These are GRO or gasoline range organics. These are common contamination. Alabaster Corp. products can bioremediate these.

 

BTXE: See BTEX.

 

BUILDERS: These give the cleaning product endurance. The ability to withstand heavy work loads. Various ingredients such as phosphates and citrate salts can be used as builders in cleaning products.

 

CARCINOGEN: A cancer-causing substance. The majority of petroleum products are or have ingredients which are classified as potential carcinogens based upon OSHA criteria. Suppliers are required to identify such products as potential carcinogens on package labels and Material Safety Data Sheets.

 

CAUSTIC: Any strong alkaline material which has a corrosive effect on living tissue and soft metals.

 

CLOUD POINT: The temperature at which a noticeable cloud of crystals or other solid material appears when a chemical or petroleum product sample is cooled under prescribed conditions. The temperature limit of nonionic surfactants. This is the temperature at which a surfactant drops out of solution causing the solution to become turbid (cloudy). Surfactant activity and surfactant performance are usually greatest just below the cloud point.

 

COD or CHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND: The amount of oxygen in milligrams per liter to oxidize both organic and oxidizable inorganic compounds.

 

COMETABOLISM: The biodegradation of a pollutant by an organism while using some other compound(s) for growth and energy. There is little or no benefit to the biodegrading organism, the pollutant just happens to be affected by the growth of the cometabolizing organism.

 

CONSORTIUM: As in “a microbial consortium.” Two or more members of a natural assemblage in which each organism benefits from the other. The group may collectively carryout some process that no single member can accomplish on its own.

 

CREOSOTE: An antifungal wood preservative used frequently to treat telephone poles and railroad ties. Creosote consists of coal tar distillation products, including PHENOLS and PAHs. Toxic and carcinogenic hydrocarbons. Alabaster Corp. products can bioremediate these.

 

CRUDE OIL: Crude oils are generally classified as being either predominantly paraffinic or naphthenic. The next major crude oil components are the aromatic and olefinic hydrocarbon constituents followed by a long list of organic and inorganic constituents. (See definition for paraffinic, naphthenic, aromatic and olefinic components). Alabaster Corp. products can bioremediate these.

 

DCE: Dichloroethylene. Toxic and carcinogenic hydrocarbons. Alabaster Corp. products can bioremediate these.

 

DENITRIFICATION: The formation of gaseous nitrogen and/or oxides of nitrogen from nitrate or nitrite by some bacteria during ANAEROBIC RESPIRATION. Denitrification only occurs in ANAEROBIC or MICROAEROPHILIC conditions. It can sometimes be used to remove nitrate or nitrite from liquid wastes.

 

DETERGENT: Cleaning solutions that consist of water and one or more of the following ingredients: Surfactants, builders, solvents, chelating agents and soap. Therefore, detergency breaks the bond between waste particles and the surface.

 

DISPERSANT: A chemical or agent which disperses or spreads or dissipates the waste particles throughout the solution and prevents these from accumulating together.

 

DNAPL: Dense non aqueous phase liquid. A liquid heavier than water. It sinks below. See NAPL.

 

ECO-ROOF: A roof planted with vegetation. A former remediation site recovered with plant life. Usually the final stage of phytoeremediation.

 

ELECTRON ACCEPTOR: Small inorganic or organic compound that is reduced to complete an electron transport chain. Compound that is reduced in a metabolic reaction.

 

ELECTRON DONOR: Small inorganic or organic compound that is oxidized to initiate an electron transport chain. Compound from which electrons are derived in a metabolic reaction.

 

EMULSIFIER: A emulsifier is a natural or synthetic chemical agent that maintains or creates an emulsion. It suspends a finely divided oily or resinous liquid within another liquid. An emulsion is the suspension of one liquid within another liquid. Some examples are oil within water, or fats within milk. Another example is when your trying to wash grease off of your hands with soap and water and you notice a creamy or sudsy build-up allowing you to rinse off the grease, etc… this is the grease and water mixing together which they would not ordinarily do. These are examples of emulsion. The Industrial Class Microbial Cleaners manufactured by Alabaster Corp. contain various emulsifying ingredients. These are designed to form a very tight emulsion which can typically last up to 20 days or more! Most competitive products last about 3 days in the best circumstances. This greatly enhances the overall cleaning ability of our products and it allows the microbes a longer period to degrade the hydrocarbons during bioremediation. Therefore, emulsifying breaks up waste particles into small droplets which can be dispersed into water or a solvent.

 

ENHANCED RHIZOSPHERE BIODEGRADATION: Enhanced biodegradation of contaminants near plant roots where compounds exuded by the roots increase microbial biodegradation activity. Other plant processes such as water uptake by the plant roots can enhance biodegradation by drawing contaminants to the root zone.

 

ENRICHMENT: Culture in a liquid medium that results in the increase of the population of an organism relative to others. The liquid culture frequently contains substances that encourage the growth of the selected organism (Such as the chemical pollutant and mineral nutrients.)

 

ESA: Environmental Site Assessment or Risk Assessment. A environmental assessment or a transaction screen is typically an inspection and written report utilized to identify any potential environmental risk. Typically these are required by lenders and real estate buyers before or during the process of financing and purchasing real estate. Assessments These site assessments and environmental reports are usually divided into three (3) separate phases or types of work being called Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3.

 

U.S. EPA: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

ENZYMES: A complex protein which encourages a biochemical reaction by acting as a catalyst. In the bioremediation business there have been many enzyme products available. These are often sold as bioremediation products in their own right. Enzymes are not the same as microbes! They do not bioremediate hydrocarbons by themselves. However, they can assist in the process.

 

EUTROPHICATION: The enrichment of natural waters with inorganic material especially nitrogen and phosphorous such that they support excessive growth of plants and algae. (Compare with OLIGOTROPHIC.)

 

EX SITU: Out of the original position (Excavated). As in “Ex Situ Bioremediation.” The contamination is removed and treated elsewhere.

 

FACULTATIVE ORGANISM: Organism that can carry out both options of a mutually exclusive process (e.g., aerobic and anaerobic metabolism).

 

FAIRY RING: A naturally occurring and visible circle on the ground caused by fungus or other biological life. A fanciful name applied to a vegetative ring believed to be of mystical origin.

 

FERMENTATION: An energy yielding metabolism that involves a series of oxidation-reduction reactions in which the substrate and terminal electron acceptor are organic compounds. Fermentation occurs in a wide variety of bacteria and fungi.

 

FOAMING: Creation bubbles which help lift the waste particles from the surface and encapsulate V.O.C.

 

FUNGI: A group of diverse and widespread unicellular and multicellular eukaryotic organisms. Some species are important in the decomposition of plant litter.

 

GREEN GDP: The reconciliation of a country’s economic history with it’s environmental history.

 

HALOPHILIC: Organisms whose requirement for salt exceeds that of other organisms.

 

HELITACK: Fire fighting using helicopters to deploy firefighters, chemical agents, water, etc.

 

HETEROTROPH: Any organism that requires exogenous organic material for growth and reproduction.

 

HYDROCARBON: A hydrocarbon is an organic chemical compound that is comprised only of carbon (C) and hydrogen (H) atoms. These can be simple or very complex. Many different oils, fat, waxes, solvents, fuels, gases, petroleum products, etc. contain hydrocarbons or are hydrocarbons. Many of these are toxic and carcinogenic. Many hydrocarbons are volatile, explosive and flammable. Under the right circumstances most of these can be biodegraded when broken down and made accessible to the correct strains of biodegrading microbes. Alabaster Corp. products can bioremediate these.

 

IN SITU: In place, without excavation. As in “In Situ Bioremediation.” The contamination or soil is treated where it is.

 

INOCULUM: Material used to introduce a microorganism into a suitable situation for growth.

 

ISOENZYME: An enzyme that occurs in more than one form in a given species. Sometimes called an isozyme.

 

LEL: Lower Explosive Level: This term or factor is used to describe the minimum safety level for avoiding explosion. In other words the LEL is the minimum level in which a volatile could possibly ignite and explode. This is a factor when degassing and cleaning various industrial tanks, vessels and lines, as well as fuel spills. Alabaster Corp. products like Petro-Clean and BGP#1 can reduce the LEL factor or danger so the volatile gases are rendered less flammable.

 

LAND FARMING:This process IS NOT accelerated bioremediation. No additional bioremediation products are used. Land farming only utilizes the naturally present microbes. The contamination is spread out over a large area and tilled. Although this is less expensive in terms of product usage, the actual costs and liability of maintaining the contamination for a prolonged period will off set the short term savings. It can take mother nature hundreds or even thousands of years to naturally biodegrade contamination. During this period the contamination remains a liability. It can migrate or spread. An additional problem is that the land is effectively unusable during this period.

 

LNAPL: A liquid lighter than water that floats on top of water. These are usually hydrocarbons. See NAPL.

 

LPST: Leaking Petroleum Storage Tank.

 

LIGNIN: A complex polymer that occurs in woody material of higher plants. It is highly resistant to chemical and enzymatic degradation. The WHITE ROT FUNGI are known for their lignin degrading capability.

 

MEDIUM: Any material that supports growth of an organism.

 

MESOPHILE: An organism whose optimum growth range is 20-45 degrees C. (Compare with THERMOPHILE and PSYCHROPHILE.)

 

METHANOTROPH: Aerobic bacteria that can use methane as a sole source of carbon.

 

METHANE-PRODUCING BACTERIA: See METHANOGEN.

 

METHANOGEN: Bacteria that anaerobicly oxidize hydrogen to methane and water using carbon dioxide as the electron acceptor. These occur in anaerobic sludge, ponds, and sewage.

 

MICROAEROPHILIC: An environment that is low in oxygen but is not anaerobic.

 

MICROBE: Microorganism. Bacteria. Often referred to as “Bugs” in the bioremediation business. Alabaster Corp. Microbial Blends for bioremediation are extremely concentrated. These are specifically acclimated species of naturally occurring, non-pathogenic microbes. These microbial species are extremely effective for a very diverse range of hydrocarbon environmental pollution and contamination. They are designed specifically for bioremediation of hydrocarbon and oil spill waste. Typically these are most effective in a temperature range between 50°F to 100°F. They are tolerant of both seawater and brackish water and work in a pH range of 4.0 to 11.5. This is a greater range of viability than with other microbial bioremediation products.

 

MICROCOSM: A community or other unit that is representative of a larger unity.

 

MICROFLORA: All of the microorganisms associated with location or environment.

 

MICRONUTRIENT: Chemical element necessary for growth found in small amounts, usually < 100 mg kg-1 in a plant. These elements consist of B, Cl, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, and Zn.

 

MICROORGANISMS: Includes bacteria, algae, fungi, and viruses.

 

MINERALIZATION: The breakdown of organic matter to inorganic materials (such as carbon dioxide and water) by bacteria and fungi.

 

MINIMAL MEDIUM: Culture medium that lacks certain growth factors so that it will support growth of only certain types of microorganisms (These are often used for ENRICHMENT CULTURES).

 

MOP and GLOW MEN: Humorous jargon, industry slang used by hazardous waste operation cleanup crews which jokingly call themselves “Mop and glow boys.”

 

MPN or MOST PROBABLE NUMBER: A method for estimating the concentration of microorganisms in a sample. A given volume of liquid or suspension is inoculated into each of (typically) 5 tubes containing growth media. Decreasing volumes are inoculated into successive sets of 5 tubes. After an incubation period the tubes are scored for growth or lack of growth. Those tubes in which growth occurred are assumed to have contained at least one VIABLE organism in the inoculant. The concentration of VIABLE microorganisms in the original liquid or suspension is calculated using a statistical table.

 

MTBE: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether: These are hydrocarbons used commonly in fuel such as gasoline. They are aromatic volatile organics and are very flammable, and explosive. Toxic and carcinogenic hydrocarbons. Alabaster Corp. products can bioremediate these.

 

MYCELIUM: (plural, mycelia)- Mass of hyphae that form the vegetative body of many fungal organisms.

 

MYCOBACTERIUM: A genus of aerobic bacteria found in soil and water that are capable of biodegrading multi-ring compounds such as PAHs.

 

MYCORRHIZA: A mutually beneficial association between a fungus and the root of a plant. These occur in a wide range of plants including trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.

 

NAPL: Non-aqueous phase liquid. This can be lighter than water (LNAPL), or more dense than water (DNAPL).

 

NATURAL CAPITALISM: An unofficial or pop culture economic theory which assigns financial cost to the abuse, use, maintenance, and depletion of natural resources and the environment.

 

NITRATE RESPIRATION: (dissimilatory nitrate reduction) The use of nitrate as a terminal electron acceptor for ANAEROBIC RESPIRATION. This process occurs under ANAEROBIC or MICROAEROPHILIC conditions. Not all bacteria are capable of this form of metabolism and the nitrate may not be reduced completely to nitrogen gas (stopping at nitrite, for example). When the nitrate is reduced to gaseous forms the process is called DENITRIFICATION. This can sometimes be used to remove nitrate or nitrite from liquid wastes.

 

NITRIFICATION: The oxidation of ammonia to nitrite and then nitrate by bacterial species such as Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter, respectively. This process is strictly aerobic.

 

OBLIGATE: Any state or condition that is an essential attribute of a given organism. For example an obligate AEROBE can grow only under aerobic conditions.

 

OLIGOTROPHIC: Bodies of water poor in those nutrients that support growth of aerobic photosynthetic organisms. (Compare with EUTROPHICATION).

 

ORGANIC PUMP: Uptake of large quantities of water by plant (trees) roots and translocation into the atmosphere to reduce a flow of water. Used to keep contaminated groundwater from reaching a body of water, or to keep surface water from seeping into a capped landfill and forming leachate.

 

OXIDASE: An enzyme that catalyses a reaction in which electrons are removed from a substrate and donated directly to molecular oxygen.

 

OXYGENASE: An enzyme that catalyses a reaction in which one (monooxygenase) or both (dioxygenase) atoms of molecular oxygen are incorporated into a molecule of substrate. Oxygenases catalyze the first step in degradation of strait-chained and aromatic hydrocarbons.

OXYGENATORS:These are additives which assist the cleaning as well as increase the oxygen levels within the environment for bioremediation. These must be used appropriately. Some chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide do increase the oxygen and assist in the cleaning greatly however, it releases too much oxygen too quickly for the microbes. This results in a temporary spike then a major drop off in effectiveness of the microbes because they are killed off. After this oxygen “bomb” settles down then the soil will stabilize and have a higher oxygen amount. After this point, the microbes will begin to flourish for a time. But it is the timing that is important. If the (H2O2) is introduced before the bioremediation microbes (hydrocarbon degrading strains) are introduced it can assist. If it is introduced while the bioremediation microbes are present, it will destroy them. After which the indigenous microbes may show an increase in activity however, these are not acclimated for hydrocarbons. So it can be very counterproductive. Again this depends upon the timing and application. Our microbial booster addresses this issue perfectly. Our microbial booster is designed to pull the necessary oxygen out of the water at an acceptable rate.

 

PATHOGEN: An organism capable of causing disease.

 

PAH: Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon. Toxic and carcinogenic hydrocarbons. Multi-ring compounds found in fuels, oils, and CREOSOTE. These are also common combustion products. Alabaster Corp. products can bioremediate these.

 

PENETRATING OR WETTING AGENTS: Penetrating or wetting agents cause the water or solvent to surround the waste particles which would otherwise repel the water.

 

pH: Percentage of hydrogen. The measure of hydroxyl (OH-) or hydrogen (H+) ions in a solution. Acids contain varying levels of hydrogen ions, bases contain hydroxyl ions. A pH of 5-9 is considered neutral, below 5 is acidic and greater than 9 is alkaline. The word or term "pH" comes from a French term 'pouvoir hydrogen' which means Hydrogen Power. This has since been expressed as "parts hydrogen" or “percent hydrogen”. pH refers to the amount of hydrogen ions contained within a substance. It is the amount of hydrogen ions present in a substance that determines the alkalinity or acidity. pH is expressed on a scale with a range of 0 to 14. It is a measurement of the amount of hydrogen ions in relation to the amount of hydroxyl ions. A greater amount of hydrogen ions than hydroxyl ions means the solution is acidic. A greater amount of hydroxyl ions means the solution is alkaline or basic. The numbers closer to 0 as more acidic and the numbers closer to 14 as more alkaline or base (basic). A pH near 7 is considered neutral. Lemon juice has a pH around 2, water has a neutral pH around 7, vinegar has a pH around 3, baking soda has a pH around 8, ammonia has a pH around 12. The numbers on the scale represent an increase or decrease in acidity or alkalinity by a factor of 10. Therefore, lemon juice is almost 10 times more acidic than vinegar and ammonia is over 1000 times more alkaline than baking soda.

 

PCBs: Polychlorinated biphenyls. Toxic and carcinogenic hydrocarbons. Alabaster Corp. products can bioremediate these.

 

PCE: (Perchloroethylene): Tetrachloroethylene. Toxic and carcinogenic hydrocarbons. Alabaster Corp. products can bioremediate these.

 

PCP: Pentachlorophenol. Toxic and carcinogenic hydrocarbons. Alabaster Corp. products can bioremediate these.

 

PCP: Polychlorinated Phenyl: Toxic and carcinogenic hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons used commonly in insecticides. Alabaster Corp. products can bioremediate these.

 

PHASE 1: Typically a phase 1 is a qualitative investigation and report. Visual observations and property history are researched. In addition various regulatory records and databases are reviewed. The object is to determine the reasonable probability of environmental risks. Usually no testing or sampling is performed during a phase 1 environmental assessment. However, sometimes a Phase 1 risk assessment report will include some minor soil sampling and testing as a precautionary measure. This does not necessarily qualify the report as a Phase 2 environmental assessment. Alabaster Corp. has certifications from Texas A&M University related to these ESA and has completed literally hundreds of these.

 

PHASE 2:phase 2 is a quantitative investigation and report. Sampling of materials suspected of contamination are analyzed and characterized. The object of this environmental assessment is to estimate or determine as much as reasonable the extent of any environmental contamination present at a commercial real estate site. These may be limited in scope requiring only a few conformational samples to determine the possibility of suspected contamination or they may become very extensive in order to determine the entire extent of contamination. Alabaster Corp. has certifications from Texas A&M University related to these ESA and the required testing procedures related to these ESA. Alabaster Corp. has completed literally hundreds of these.

 

PHASE 3:A phase 3 remediation and environmental management project including any Phase 1 and Phase 2 report and environmental site assessment records. The results of a Phase 1 and Phase 2 are studied to formulate an appropriate and reasonable solution for an environmental problem. The remediation or bioremediation project is planned and estimated in terms of time, costs, and objectives. Alabaster Environmental and Bioremediation Consulting is very experienced with environmental remediation and bioremediation projects. We are proud to assist our clients with their commercial real estate and environmental risk assessment needs. Directly or through distributors and agents, Alabaster Corp. has been involved with and successfully completed literally thousands of bioremediation projects.

 

PHENOL: Carbolic acid (C6H5OH). Phenols and substituted phenols are used as antimicrobial agents in high concentrations. These can be altered before bioremediation. Alabaster Corp. products can bioremediate these.

 

PHYTOACCUMULATION: See PHYTOEXTRACTION.

 

PHYTODEGRADATION: A process in which plants are able to degrade (break down) organic pollutants through their metabolic processes.

 

PHYTOEXTRACTION: Use of plants to extract contaminants (such as metals) from the environment (especially soil). When the plants are saturated with contaminants they are harvested.

 

PHYTOMINING: Use of plants to extract inorganic substances of economic value (precious metals, etc.)

PHYTOREMEDIATION: Use of plants to remediate contaminated soil or groundwater.

 

PHYTOSTABILIZATION: Use of soil amendments and plants to reduce bioavailability and offsite migration of contaminants.

 

PHYTOVOLATILIZATION: Use of plants to volatilize contaminants (solvents, etc.) from soil or water.

 

PLASMID: Extra DNA in a cell that is usually dispensable, but may confer an advantage to the cell, such as the ability to biodegrade certain compounds or resistance to antibiotics.

 

PLOW AND PRAY: An industry term for the practice of implementing ineffective bioremediation processes in an attempt to limit remediation costs. Typically this may include only tilling contaminated soil with the mistaken belief that aeration of the soil alone will eventually bioremediate the pollution. This may release the volatiles. Sometimes “microbes”, “enzymes”, “oxygenators” or “fertilizers” are used alone. This is inferior because the microbes can not break down the hydrocarbons effectively without proper chemical assistance. This only creates a greater population of ineffective microbes. Sometimes inexpensive, commodity type chemicals such as “surfactants” are used alone. This will only dilute and spread out the contamination creating the illusion that the waste levels have been reduced. These different processes are seldom utilized together in the appropriate manner. It’s like trying to make a cake with half the ingredients. It may smell sweet but it’s only half baked.

 

PNA: Poly Nuclear Aromatics: Toxic and carcinogenic hydrocarbons. Alabaster Corp. products can bioremediate these.

 

PRICE OF CARBON: Term for the market value of petrochemical pollution emission rights or credits which are traded internationally. This is a profitable but environmentally controversial system which may allow for a pollution producing entity to purchase unused emission credits from other entities. Opponents claim this system effectively allows polluters unlimited emissions.

 

PST: Petroleum Storage Tank

 

PSYCHROPHILE: An organism with an optimum growth temperature less than 20 degrees C.

 

RECALCITRANT: Resistant to biodegradation.

 

RCRA: The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Federal legislation (U.S. Code Title 42, Chapter 82) adopted in 1976 and substantially amended in 1984 by the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments. It is the statutory basis for the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a comprehensive program to control hazardous waste from its generation to its final disposal. The identifies wastes by toxicity and production characteristics, specifies on-site management and storage procedures, limits duration and method of storage, requires pollution prevention, prescribes personnel training content and frequency, establishes treatment, storage and disposal parameters, and specifies shipping requirements.

 

REDOX POTENTIAL: The oxidation-reduction potential of an environment. Measures the tendency of the environment to be reducing (donate electrons) or oxidizing (accept electrons).

 

REDUCTIVE DECHLORINATION: Removal of Cl as Cl- from an organic compound by reducing the carbon atom from C-Cl to C-H.

 

RESPIRATION: Energy yielding metabolism in which oxygen is the terminal electron acceptor for substrate oxidation.

 

RHIZOFILTRATION: Uptake of contaminants by the roots of plants immersed in water. When the roots are saturated with contaminants they are harvested.

 

RHIZOPLANE: The surface of plant roots.

 

RHIZOSPHERE: Soil in the area surrounding plant roots that is influenced by the plant root. Typically a few millimeters or at most centimeters from the plant root. Important because this area is higher in nutrients and thus has a higher and more active microbial population.

 

SAPONIFICATION: The act of soap-making. Specifically refers to the neutralization of fats by alkalis. When cleaning a surface that contains food fats with a caustic degreaser, one cleaning mechanism that occurs during this process is saponification. In remediation this process can be detrimental or possibly beneficial depending upon the overall application. There are many remediation contractors who use (saponification) caustic degreasers on hydrocarbon contamination then follow with the addition of water. This effectively makes soap out of the hydrocarbon pollution then subsequently washes it away. The mistake is made when the contractor takes TPH tests after the process and mistakenly believes the TPH has dropped. The hydrocarbon contamination is still present and has only been spread out further. Although caustics can be good for cleaning hydrocarbons, depending upon the pH these may not be good for the environment. For bioremediation a delicate balance is needed. Alabaster Corp. products are designed to maintain an appropriate balance between cleaning ability and bioremediation ability.

 

SOPONIFIERS: These are powerful basic or alkaline chemicals that transform fats and oils into natural soaps. This is the same chemical reaction used in making soaps. The process is called saponification. Once the hydrocarbons are converted to soap they become soluble in water or solvents and can be dispersed.

 

SHELF LIFE: The length of time an unopened product will remain effectively or practically unchanged in its container after packaging. Typically shelf life is not a problem with Alabaster Corp. cleaning products. They will remain in good condition for well over three years. Microbial products have a shorter shelf life.

 

SIDEROCHROMES: Compounds produced by microorganisms that are involved with the uptake of iron by those microorganisms.

 

SIDEROPHORES: See siderochromes.

 

SOLUBILITY: The amount of a substance that will dissolve in a given amount of another substance. For example, mixing an all purpose cleaner with water leads to 100% solubility of the cleaner. Therefore, solubilizing dissolves the waste particle into the solvent so it is no longer solid.

 

SOLUTION: A single, homogenous liquid that is a mixture in which the components are uniformly distributed throughout.

 

SOLVENT: A liquid that is capable of dissolving another substance. Many industrial solvents are hazardous and contain contaminates. Alabaster Corp. can bioremediate these. Almost all cleaning requires a solvent. The solvent dissolves the matter and also provides a medium in which to suspend and carry it away from the surface. Water is a natural solvent. If given enough time, water can dissolve and remove almost any type of waste matter whether it is organic, inorganic, or petroleum hydrocarbons. Traditionally the most effective solvents for petroleum hydrocarbon matter are other petroleum distillates. However, effective biodegradable solvent products are becoming more readily available.

 

SPORES: (bacterial endospores) A metabolically dormant state of bacteria in which they are more resistant to heat, chemicals, etc. (Compare with VEGETATIVE.)

 

SURFACTANT: These are typical detergents or soaps. The term surfactant means surface active agent. A surfactant works in conjunction with a solvent by breaking the connection between a waste matter and water or another solvent. A surfactant has two chemical properties. One is attracted to water (hydrophilic) and one is attracted to the waste matter (hydrophobic). In a cleaning solution the hydrophobic factor in the surfactant works to attach to and break up the waste matter separating it from the water. The hydrophilic factor in the surfactant projects the waste matter into the solvent causing the waste matter to be broken up and removed from the surface or suspended within the solution. Surfactants can be any natural or synthetic chemical that promotes or enhances the wetting, solubilization, and emulsification of various types of organic chemicals. A surfactant is typically considered a substance, usually a chemical, used for reducing the surface tension of liquids. This can be any agent such as a detergent or a soap that reduces the surface tension of liquids so that the liquid spreads out, instead of collecting in droplets. The Industrial Class Microbial Cleaners manufactured by Alabaster Corp. contain many different surfactant ingredients blended within in order to deal with a much greater range of contaminate materials. This insures our products can effectively break down a large host of contaminates. The surfactants we use break down the surface tension of the hydrocarbon molecules so that they are more conducive to microbial degradation or bioremediation. This is what our product are specifically designed for.

 

SYNERGISTIC: When in a solution, the effects of the combined individual ingredients are greater than if they were by themselves. This describes Alabaster Corp. Bioremediation products perfectly.

 

TCE: Trichloroethylene. DNAPL. Toxic and carcinogenic hydrocarbons. Often used in dry cleaning process. Alabaster Corp. products can bioremediate these.

 

THERMOPHILE: Any organism that has an optimum growth temperature above 45 degrees C.

 

TCEQ: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The State of Texas Agency responsible for enforcement and monitoring of environmental conditions in the State of Texas. The are the state regulatory entity. See TNRCC.

 

TPH: Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons: This is the volume or amount of hydrocarbons of all types usually expressed in mg/kg or PPM (parts per million) or PPB (parts per billion.)

 

TNRCC: Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. Name of the State of Texas environmental regulatory agency before the state legislature changed it into TCEQ. Prior to this the state agency was also known as the TWC or Texas Water Commission and the TGLO Texas General Land Office.

 

UST: Underground Storage Tank.

 

VADOSE ZONE: Unsaturated zone of soil above the groundwater, extending from the bottom of the capillary fringe all the way to the soil surface.

 

VC: Vinyl chloride.

 

VEGETATIVE: Cells with an active metabolism. Not dormant or SPORES.

 

VIABLE: Living, or capable of growth.

 

VISCOSITY: In simple terms it refers to how thick or thin a product is. In actual terms, it's the internal resistance of two liquid layers to flow across each other. This internal resistance is a result of interaction between liquid molecules in motion.

 

V.O.C.: Volatile Organic Compounds. This is a measure of the non-water solvents that are in a particular product. These are typically flammable and explosive. Most hydrocarbons produce V.O.C. which dissipate into the environment. Many of these are toxic and carcinogenic. Alabaster Corp. products can help encapsulate and emulsify V.O.C. and reduce the flammability as well as begin to bioremediate these compounds.

 

WILD TYPE-STRAIN: Strain of an organism isolated from nature. The usual or native form of an organism as opposed to a mutant strain.

 

WITCHES’ KNICKERS: Irish slang for trash plastic bags which have been caught in trees and bushes. South Africans call them the “national flower”, Chinese call them “white pollution”, Alaskans call them tundra ghosts. Some people call them “landfill snowbirds.”

 

WINOGRADSKY COLUMN: Glass column with an anaerobic lower zone and an aerobic upper zone, which allows growth of microorganisms under conditions similar to those found in nutrient-rich water and sediment.

 

WEATHERING: All physical and chemical changes produced by atmospheric agents.

 

WETTING OR PENETRATING AGENTS: There are many types of surfactants available. Depending upon the individual characteristics and chemical composition of the cleaning agent, it may have different abilities or characteristics.

 

WHITE ROT FUNGI: Fungi that decompose all components of wood. Important because they produce enzymes that are capable of acting on and biodegrading a wide variety of compounds, including many pollutants.

 

XENOBIOTIC: Compound foreign to biological systems. Often refers to human-made compounds that are resistant or recalcitrant to biodegradation and decomposition.

 

XEROPHILE: Organism adapted to grow at low water potential, i.e., very dry habitats.

 

Alabaster Corporation is honored to offer the following Bioremediation, Emergency Response, Oil Spill and Environmental Cleaning Products and Environmental Services:

• Bioremediation and Environmental Pollution Cleaning Products.
• Custom Blended Microbial Cleaning Products for Bioremediation.
• Emergency Response and First Response Cleaning Products.
• Petro Clean™ Emergency Response Solution.
• Fuel Spill or Oil Spill Cleanup Products for Spill Response.
• Ocean Pollution, Oil Spill Containment and Dispersant Cleaning Products.
• Environmental Products for reducing Volatile Organic Compounds.
• Remediation Products for Soil Contamination, Water Contamination.
• Wastewater Plant and Water Pollution Remediation Products.
• Grease Trap and Septic Tank Cleaning Products.
• Industrial Cleaning, Tank Cleaning Remediation and Degassing Products.
• Oil Spill Response Products for Firefighting and Fire Prevention.
• UST, PST Environmental Remediation and Pollution Removal.
• UST Contractor Environmental Services and Environmental Consultants.
• Corrective Action Specialist Environmental Services.
• Corrective Action Project Manager Environmental Services.
• Phase I ESA. Environmental Services and Environmental Consultants.
• Phase II ESA. Contamination Testing Environmental Services.
• Phase III ESA. Site Contamination and Remediation Environmental Services.
• Regulatory Research and Voluntary Cleanup Program.
• Oil Spill Contingency Planning, Spill Control and Spill Containment.
• Environmental Consultants, Environmental Services and Expert Witness.
• Alabaster Corp. is an Approved Vendor for most major banks and refineries!


ALABASTER CORP.
OUR SOLUTIONS PREVENT POLLUTION!™
U.S.A.
713-724-9226 or 1-800-609-2728
E-mail: ALABASTER CORP.

 

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