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A North American system of soil stabilisation has been used for the first time in Europe at the site of a former oil shale refinery in West Lothian, Scotland.The MecTool from Michigan-based Millguard Environmental Corporation was used by UK Waste Management to clean up the contaminated land at Pumpherston for Youngs Paraffin Light and Mineral Oils. The crane-mounted equipment can treat hazardous, contaminated or unstable soil in situ - making it a cheap alternative to off-site treatment, said John Conway, UK Waste's remediation manager.'MecTool proved its effectiveness as a remediation delivery system which is safe, versatile and fast. This technology can reduce costs and eliminate additional hazards associated with excavation, handling and transport required by ex-situ methods of treatment and disposal,' Mr Conway said.On site the MecTool drills into the contaminated soil simultaneously injecting the chemical stabilising reagents and cement to create soil treatment columns.The drilling and mixing pattern is pre-determined to ensure that the entire site is covered with the appropriate treatment. Above ground the machine is shrouded in a bell-shaped cover to prevent airborne pollution from drilling dust.Computers monitor and control the drilling as well as the mixing and application of the reagent - whether it is gaseous, liquid or slurry.The computer also records the final soil condition at every soil stabilisation column location to provide an accurate picture of the whole site for future development.Millguard Environmental claims MecTool can be used to stabilise almost any form of contaminant, including heavy metals, acid waste, radioactive materials and oil. CONSTRUCTION NEWS