The year 2020 has begun! At Orvion we look back on a year full of innovation. Below are a few of our highlights of 2019. We are proud of what we have achieved and will continue to commit ourselves to creating a cleaner and more sustainable world in 2020.
Field trials ORVImobilab
It was a special year for one of our latest products as it was put through its paces during field trials. ORVImobilab enables microbial water testing to be performed outside of the lab within 2 hours – no experts, no cold chain, no culturing needed!
In October 2019 Federica and Deanne travelled to Maputo in Mozambique. After a day’s training, all the necessary materials were handed over to our local partner WE Consult. They sampled (in over 40 degree heat) and analysed over 160 water samples independently on location in Tete. The results provide quantitative microbial data on water quality and possible routes of aquifer contamination. Two more rounds to go!
Closer to home ORVImobilab was trialled during the Swim to Fight Cancer in Den Bosch, the Netherlands. On 15th September 725 swimmers dived into the canal surrounding the city raising a total of € 534.715,33 for cancer research. That morning the water was tested behind the scenes using ORVImobilab. The results were in before the event start at 12:00 – all clear, no faecal indicator bacteria were found!
PFAS – forever chemical biodegrades after all
The year 2019 will be remembered by many as the year in which dredgers, construction companies and gardeners struggled with the Ministry’s “temporary action framework PFAS”.
Luckily we will remember 2019 in a more positive light as the year in which the status quo surrounding the degradability of PFAS was broken:
A bacterium named “Acidimicrobium sp. strain A6 ”degrades PFAS!
Researchers at Princeton University published anarticle in September that shows that this bacterium degrades as much as 63% of PFOA in 100 days. The extremely strong carbon-fluorine bond is broken and fluoride is released. This is real detoxification.
Not only does this offer new perspectives to handle the “PFAS-crisis”, but it also confirms yet again what we stand for: nature can always do more than people think. It is therefore time to update “An action framework for PFAS” as published by the Expertisecentrum PFAS: biodegradation as a remediation technique of PFAS is “under development” and can no longer be labelled “not feasible”!
Biodegradation is a route to help the Netherlands out of the “PFAS crisis”…Let nature do the job!
We look back on a productive year for our lab
A year with substantial growth relative to 2018:
A year with many different and also new ORVIdetect analyses, including familiar ones for biodegradation of chlorinated solvents, but also some new ones including (i) additional analyses to determine natural anaerobic attenuation of BTEXN (ii) the invasive plant “Asian Knotweed” (iii) the potentially pathogenic Campylobacter.
From lab to pilot within a year
Mecoprop (a common herbicide) is a recalcitrant pollutant in aquifers, often originating from landfills. Until now there is no active approach of the contaminant (to actually remove it) and it’s spread in with groundwater is monitored (an approach without end).
We accepted the challenge. We started with a series of lab tests that demonstrated that Mecoprop degrades well under aerobic conditions. By characterizing the biomass in the successful tests with ORVIdecode, we also knew immediately which specific biomass and proteins (genes) were actually doing the work.
The next step was to put this biomass to work in the soil and groundwater itself. In 2019 we started a pilot together with the Municipality of Rotterdam. The naturally occurring biomass was stimulated by introducing air into the ground (biosparging). The Mecoprop-degrading biomass and genes in the groundwater were measured regularly (ORVIdetect), demonstrating that they increased significantly over time, up to 1000-fold. This, together with decreasing Mecoprop concentrations, provides direct proof of biological stimulation and degradation.
The endless monitoring can now be converted into a finite solution whereby Mecoprop is removed from the environment.