Keeping HAZMAT Professionals Out of Harm’s Way: Robots

Every morning, I start my day by scouring the news to catch up on issues affecting the robotics industry. It seems that there isn’t a day that goes by without a major publication either extolling the virtues of robotics or lamenting with doomsday predictions of robots taking over. Irrespective of one’s point of view, the notion of advanced machines capable of performing dangerous and difficult tasks has taken center stage. In my view, we are entering the golden age of robotics, where technological innovations coupled with substantially reduced component costs allow us to deploy robots that can reliably and cost effectively augment human performance to keep human’s out of harm’s way, currently we use robotic process automation to help with automated tasks with the business world, however, this may evolve into something else. This is particularly relevant and timely for the first responder community, where the physical and emotional toll on both first responders and the communities that they serve, can be substantially mitigated by providing first responders with enhanced situational awareness without requiring their physical presence. Robotic technology has a lot to come along way, with some being used for maintenance purposes. One of the best robot vacuums that are similar to the Roomba is used in by the general public.

The worldwide market for law enforcement robots will be approximately $5.7 billion by 2022, up from $1 billion in 2015, according to Wintergreen Research estimates. That’s a pretty significant increase. While robots have been used in law enforcement for years, primarily for bomb disposal, and to a lesser extent for SWAT and other tactical scenarios, hazardous materials (HAZMAT) professionals have been slow to adopt robotic solutions in part because most robots haven’t been designed to address the unique needs of the HAZMAT community…until now.

For HAZMAT professionals, small, man-portable robots can provide important assistance with collecting and analyzing information about hazardous environments well before a response team is suited up to evaluate the scene. These robots can use on-board sensors to conduct tests and relay information back to both the on-site response team as well as off-site experts. This valuable data can expedite the formulation and execution of a response plan and can reduce the amount of time HAZMAT professionals need to be exposed to dangerous environments. In some cases, the deployment of robots, such as Sarcos’ Guardian S mobile IoT platform, could be the difference between life and death.

Why now? According to analyst firm IDC, “technological development in artificial intelligence, computer vision, navigation, MEMS sensor, and semiconductor technologies continue to drive innovation in the capability, performance, autonomy, ease of use, and cost-effectiveness of industrial and service robots,” said Jing Bing Zhang, research director of worldwide robotics at IDC Asia/Pacific.

Robots that can perform a variety of observation and data collection functions in HAZMAT scenarios make it an economically viable and safer solution for HAZMAT professionals. For those who fear that robots will take over and replace human jobs, many robots, including Sarcos,’ are exclusively tele-operated, meaning that they rely on human intelligence, not artificial intelligence, to complete the mission. Artificial intelligence is an exciting and promising technology that will become increasingly useful as time goes on. However, as with all things “artificial,” such as artificial sweeteners or artificial light, the artificial version isn’t always a direct substitute, it sometimes lacks the same characteristics or performance as the natural version. As a team, Sarcos fundamentally believes that when it comes to life and death decision-making in unstructured environments, there is no substitute for the wisdom and judgment of humans.

Most HAZMAT scenarios require a minimum of four people to be suited up on a scene, two to assess a situation and two on standby to sub in for the others if an incident occurs. These teams are often part of a larger 20-person operation. With the use of portable, tele-operated robots equipped with sensors, critical chemical and environmental data along with real-time video can be obtained from the scene without the need for a person to be physically exposed to the hazardous conditions. Robots can do a variety of assessments, such as testing for chemical compounds or detecting radiation, and transmit the data back to the operators and other off-site experts. This provides the HAZMAT crew with initial information before they suit up and enter the area, which ultimately enables the team to be better prepared and ultimately more efficient — saving precious time in the most dangerous situations.

Some robots can carry a variety of advanced sensor arrays that can be customized according to the needs of the customer. Some of these sensors include high definition video cameras, high definition still cameras, IR video cameras, stereo cameras, radiation detectors, gas detectors and a variety of non-destructive testing sensors. Additionally, some can use a wide-range of connectivity solutions, including Wi-Fi, private long-range radios and LTE cellular networks. Given the nature of hazardous gases, it is important for robots to be enabled to scale certain vertical surfaces, allowing the robot to take readings from different elevations. The versatility of sensors and connectivity options enables HAZMAT crews to customize their robots according to their unique mission requirements.

One significant barrier to adoption for many first responders is the relatively high historical total cost of ownership of robotics platforms. To address this hurdle, Sarcos, and an increasing number of other robotics companies, offer a Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS) option, which requires no upfront hardware costs for the basic robotic platform, provides ongoing maintenance, support and training, and allows a customer to upgrade at the end of the contract term. Analyst firm IDC predicted that by 2019, 30 percent of commercial service robotic applications will be in the form of a “Robot as a Service” business model. For various public safety agencies including HAZMAT divisions, lower upfront costs combined with ongoing training and support from the manufacturer, will make deployment of robots more viable.

We are at the dawn of the Golden Age of robotics. More than simply the automation of dull and boring tasks to improve efficiencies, we expect to see explosive growth and adoption over the next decade of human-controlled robotic systems that are capable of performing meaningful work in unstructured environments. And while there is much hype about robots replacing human workers, when robots are designed and deployed that augment rather than replace human performance, everyone benefits. This is especially true for HAZMAT professionals and other first responders, who put their lives on the line every day for the benefit of the communities they serve. One day soon, the deployment of tele-operated robots will be standard protocol and we will have truly succeeded in helping our first responders get their jobs done more effectively while reducing their personal risk of injury and death.


About the Author

Benjamin Wolff serves as the Chairman & CEO of Sarcos Robotics, a leading global robotics and sensor company. In this role since 2015, Wolff oversees the strategic direction of the company and engages with some the company’s strategic partners, customers and investors. Prior to joining Sarcos, Wolff served as Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman at Pendrell Corporation (NASDAQ: PCO) from 2009 to 2014.

Before earning his law degree from Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon in 1994, Wolff earned his Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University in 1991.

Company invents reusable absorbent for oil cleanup

Green Ocean, a Dutch based company, recently announced it has developed a 100% environmentally friendly oil absorbent made of volcanic basalt rock.  The company claims that the technology shows unbelievably results in cleaning oil spills.

Green Ocean claims its products absorb oil three times faster and can adsorb three times more oil than any existing solution on the market.  In addition, the company states that its absorbents are fully recyclable, because oil can be easily wrung out of the absorbent, dramatically saving costs on disposal.  One gram of GO filler can absorb up to 72 grams of oil.  Absorbent boom of 20/3m can take 94 liters comparing to 44 liters of polypropylene boom of the same size.

In May 2017, the company opened sales office in the USA.  Green Ocean sees huge potential in US market, as North America holds the biggest part of World’s sales of oil cleanup technologies and always looks for more efficient solutions. Green Ocean already operates in Europe and Russia.

“It’s took us several years to develop ready for market solution. Green Ocean products proved themselves in real life cases.  Not only they show highest absorbents capacities, but they also do not sink, operate in temperature from -196°C up to 700°C and do not rot.  We see many possible applications of our unique filler.  Now our R&D team works on filtrating and insulating products. We believe mo

st of the spills can be prevented, not just stopped. ” Says CEO of Green Ocean, Shai Granovski.

Green Ocean headquarters is in Amsterdam, Netherlands, production plants are in Latvia and Russia.

Import and Export of Hazardous Waste Shipments Webinar – June 5th

The U.S. EPA is hosting a webinar on exports and imports of hazardous wastes, including those managed as universal waste and spent lead-acid batteries, are required to follow import and export procedures under 40 CFR Part 262 Subpart H.

Shipments of hazardous waste that go first to an interim facility for temporary holding or consolidation prior to being shipped to a final disposal or recycling facility have special procedures to follow under U.S. law.

The one-hour webinar will walk through the additional information to provide in U.S. EPA notices and the shipment-specific tracking procedures you must follow to comply with 40 CFR Part 262 Subpart H.

The webinar will take place on June 5th at 3 pm EDT.  To register, visit the website.


Integrated DNAPL Site Characterization – June 8th

The U.S. Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) and the U.S. EPA are hosting a webinar on integrated site characterization of sites contaminated with dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs).  The webinar is scheduled for June 8th.  To register for the webinar, visit the IRTC website.

Sites contaminated with dense nonaqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs) and DNAPL mixtures present significant environmental challenges.  Despite the decades spent on characterizing and attempting to remediate DNAPL sites, substantial risk remains. Inadequate characterization of site geology as well as the distribution, characteristics, and behavior of contaminants — by relying on traditional monitoring well methods rather than more innovative and integrated approaches — has limited the success of many remediation efforts.
The Integrated DNAPL Site Characterization Team has synthesized the knowledge about DNAPL site characterization and remediation acquired over the past several decades, and has integrated that information into a new document, Integrated DNAPL Site Characterization and Tools Selection (ISC-1, 2015). This guidance is a resource to inform regulators, responsible parties, other problem holders, consultants, community stakeholders, and other interested parties of the critical concepts related to characterization approaches and tools for collecting subsurface data at DNAPL sites. After this associated training, participants will be able to use the ITRC Integrated DNAPL Site Characterization and Tools Selection (ISC-1, 2015) guidance to develop and support an integrated approach to DNAPL site characterization, including:

  • Identify what site conditions must be considered when developing an informative DNAPL conceptual site model (CSM)
  • Define an objectives-based DNAPL characterization strategy
  • Understand what tools and resources are available to improve the identification, collection, and evaluation of appropriate site characterization data
  • Navigate the DNAPL characterization tools table and select appropriate technologies to fill site-specific data gaps

For reference during the training class, participants should have a copy of Figure 4-1, the integrated site characterization flow diagram from the ITRC Technical and Regulatory Guidance document: Integrated DNAPL Site Characterization and Tools Selection (ISC-1, 2015) and available as a PDF at

Clean-up of Ontario Mining Sites estimated at $3.1 Billion

As reported by Northern Ontario Business, an interactive map of national orphaned and abandoned mines has recently been released by the National Orphaned and Abandoned Mines Initiative (NAOMI).  NOAMI was launched in 2002 in response to a request from mine ministers in federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions to address issues related to orphaned and abandoned mines across the country.

The NOAMI Advisory Committee consists of representatives of federal/provincial/territorial governments, the Canadian mining industry, environmental non-governmental organizations and Aboriginal peoples and their communities.  The NOAMI Advisory Committee makes no representation and takes no responsibility that the information in the interactive map is accurate, current or complete.

According to NOAMI, “orphaned or abandoned mines are those mines for which the owner cannot be found or for which the owner is financially unable or unwilling to carry out cleanup.  They pose environmental, health, safety and economic problems to communities, the mining industry and governments in many countries, including Canada.”

The inventory is comprised of a map that pinpoints mine locations classed in four categories:

  • Class A: a site with potential to cause environmental, public health and public safety concerns.
  • Class B: a site with limited potential to cause environmental concerns but with potential for public health and safety concerns.
  • Class C: a site with public safety concerns but little or no public health or environmental concerns.
  • Class O: a site with no expected environmental, public health or public safety concerns.

Mine sites are additionally classified as active or inactive, neglected or terminated, and orphaned/abandoned, or as legacy sites.

The inventory comprises information supplied by participating jurisdictions.  Noticeably absent from the map is inventory of mines from B.C., Yukon and Québec, a point lamented byMiningWatch Canada, a not-for-profit organization that is a watch dog of the mining industry.  The organization is supported by environmental, social justice, Indigenous and labour organisations from across the Canada.

“We are pressing these governments to step up and join the rest of Canada in sharing their data,” said Ugo Lapointe, MiningWatch Canada’s program coordinator (Canada) and a member of NOAMI’s steering committee, in a release.

MiningWatch Canada said, based on its estimate, the total cost for cleaning up these sites could be more than $9.1 billion, including $3.1 billion for Ontario, $2.4 billion for B.C., $1.9 billion for Québec and $1.7 billion in the northern territories.

“Financial data are missing for central and Maritime provinces, which account for about a third of all mining production in Canada,” MiningWatch notes.

Joan Kuyek, co-founder of MiningWatch and of NOAMI, and current chair of Ontarians for a Just and Accountable Mineral Strategy (OJAMS), noted the inventory has been a long time coming.

“The inventory is not complete, nor perfect, but it includes most provinces and territories in Canada and is an important step to ensure greater transparency and inform the public about the location of contaminated mine sites which may pose a threat to the environment, public health, and public safety,” Kuyek said.


Emergency Declared At Nuclear-Contaminated Site in Washington State

As reported by NPR, The U.S. Department of Energy has declared an emergency at a nuclear-contaminated site in Washington state, after soil caved in over a portion of a tunnel containing rail cars contaminated with nuclear waste.

“All personnel in the immediate area have been accounted for — they are safe — and there is no evidence of a radiological release,” Destry Henderson, spokesperson for the Hanford site’s emergency operations center, said in a brief statement on Facebook.

Some employees were evacuated and others were told to move indoors as a “precaution,” officials say. Anna King of the Northwest News Network, a public radio station collaboration, reports that approximately 3,000 other workers in the area were originally taking cover indoors. Nonessential employees have since been sent home, and essential employees were instructed to avoid the site of the tunnel.

There are no reports of injuries.

The Hanford Site, about 150 miles southeast of Seattle, is a former nuclear production complex and home to a long-running, challenging and sometimes troubled cleanup operation.

It’s generally regarded as the most contaminated nuclear site in America. The Department of Energy says it’s the most challenging of the government’s nuclear cleanup projects, with millions of tons and hundreds of billions of gallons of nuclear waste.


2013: A Peek Inside A Once Top Secret Spot In Atomic Age History

The Department of Energy says a 20-foot-by-20-foot section of soil caved in where two underground tunnels meet next to the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Facility, known as the PUREX plant. The cave-in was discovered during routine surveillance.

The tunnels in question were storing rail cars that once carried radioactive nuclear fuel from reactors to production facilities, back when the site was still used to manufacture nuclear weapons. Each tunnel is hundreds of feet long, the Hanford Site says, made of wood and concrete and covered with about 8 feet of soil. A 20-foot-long section appears to have collapsed.

“There is no indication of a release of contamination at this point,” the Department of Energy says.

“Officials continue to monitor the air and are working on how they will fix the hole in the tunnel roof,” the Hanford Emergency Information site announced. “They are looking at options that would provide a barrier between the contaminated equipment in the tunnel and the outside air that would not cause the hole in the tunnel’s roof to widen.”

The site of the collapse had been previously identified as a potential hazard, the Northwest News Network writes:

“In 2015, a preliminary report identified the tunnels and the PUREX facility as a major risk area on the Hanford site. The report concluded if the tunnels collapsed, from an earthquake or another natural cause, it could pose a risk to workers because of the highly contaminated railcars stored inside.

“Between 1960 and 1965, eight rail cars were pushed inside one tunnel, full of radioactive waste. Another tunnel was constructed in 1964 to hold 40 additional railcars.”

The governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, says there are “many questions” about how the collapse happened, reports member station Oregon Public Broadcasting.

“We’ll have to get to the bottom of that,” he said. “At the moment we’re focusing on the safety of workers and making sure there’s no release beyond [the] immediate site.”

OPB described the Hanford site, and the challenges of cleaning up nuclear waste, late last year, as part of a project about the environmental impact of the U.S. military in the Northwest:

“Hanford is the nation’s largest nuclear cleanup site, with 56 million gallons of radioactive waste sitting in old, leaky underground tanks just a few hours upriver from Portland. After more than 20 years and $19 billion[,] not a drop of waste has been treated.

“Hanford sits next to the Columbia River. It was one of the original Manhattan Project sites. Its nine nuclear reactors irradiated uranium fuel rods. That created plutonium, which was extracted with chemicals, processed and shipped to weapons factories. Each step produced radioactive waste. …

“The stored waste has to be treated in special rooms called black cells, which are too radioactive for humans to enter. The machinery in these black cells is supposed to operate for 40 years with no direct human intervention. If something goes wrong, the cells could be damaged.”

The treatment plant was originally supposed to be finished in 2007, but the deadline has been extended several times, OPB reports.

38th Amendment of the IMDG Code becomes mandatory in 2018

Are you up to date on the regulations for handling and transporting Dangerous Goods?

The IMDG Code or International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code is accepted as an international guideline to the safe transportation or shipment of dangerous goods or hazardous materials by water on vessel.  On January 1st, 2018 the new 38th amendment of the IMDG Code will become mandatory. Already applied on a voluntary basis since January 2017, the amendments are quite extensive and may require additional training of your employees in order to be in full compliance.

Since its inception in 1965, and being made mandatory from January 2004, the IMDG Code has been continuously updated and revised for technical and transportation requirements of specific substances in order to keep up with the rapid expansion in the number of new products and changes in the shipping industry as a whole.

The challenge actually starts way before the vessel leaves the port because the whole supply chain is compromised if the correct procedures are not followed right from the start.  The need for awareness and regular training of all involved parties is clear.  Refresher training on the new amendment every two years is highly recommended.

The latest revisions to the Code are contained in IMO Resolution MSC. 406 (96) as amendment 38-16 which was adopted on 13th May 2016.  Due to the large number of changes to the Code, the resolution incorporates the complete amended text of volumes 1 and 2 of the Code.  The 2014 Supplement to the Code has not been amended and continues to be valid.

Contracting governments may apply the new requirements, in part or in whole, on a voluntary basis from 1st January 2017. Mandatory compliance of the revised IMDG Code 2016 (38-16) will be required from 1st January 2018.

Some of the changes include:

  • More stringent controls for transportation of Lithium Batteries by way of new additional marking, labeling and special provisions.
  • The dangers of Polymerizing substances has been addressed by allotting them to Class 4.1 under new UN numbers.
  • Eight new United Nations (UN) numbers have been added (UN 3527 to UN 3534), covering polyester resin kits, polymerizing substances both solid and liquid, and engines and machinery.
  • The anomalies that existed in previous editions with respect to transport of vehicles and machinery have now been ironed out and streamlined for all persons using the code by allotting separate UN numbers
  • to them while differentiating them under different Classes in the DG List.
  • Several new packing instructions have been introduced. Various ISO standards have been newly incorporated into the applicable packing instructions for gases, provisions for design, construction and testing of UN pressure receptacles and multiple-element gas containers.
  • The introduction of 11 new special provisions.

 Mandatory training

Overall, the IMDG CODE 2016 Edition, amendment 38-16, is a document that underlines the principles of continuous improvement and shows the way to making the transportation of goods by sea ever safer and surer.

All persons involved or in any way connected with Dangerous Goods transportation by sea are required to undergo mandatory training according to Chapter 1.3 of the Code.

Ontario nuclear emergency plan inadequate, environmental groups say

As reported by CTV News, Ontario’s proposed plan for how to respond in the unlikely event of a nuclear emergency falls short, environmental groups say.

The province recently released an update to its emergency planning for potential large-scale accidents at the Pickering, Darlington, Bruce Power, Chalk River and FERMI 2 nuclear sites.

It deals with co-ordinating responses and public communication, zones and evacuation procedures, preventing food and water contamination, and limiting exposure to radiation.

The environmental groups, including Greenpeace and the Canadian Environmental Law Association, say the proposal isn’t based on a large enough incident, and needs to plan for an accident on the scale of the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan.

“Given we’re seeing nuclear accidents at the international level about once a decade, we need to prepare for such events,” said Shawn-Patrick Stensil with Greenpeace.

“These proposals do a disservice to Ontarians. They make no proposals to tangibly strengthen public safety and ignore key lessons from Fukushima. It’s unacceptable.”

Community Safety Minister Marie-France Lalonde said the plan “definitely” covers a Fukushima-scale accident.  “We’ve learned many things from the event in Japan, unfortunately,” she said.


Better communication with the public, particularly those living near nuclear sites, is needed, said Theresa McClenaghan, with the Canadian Environmental Law Association.

“The general public is mainly not aware of nuclear emergency planning and protective measures around each of the nuclear power plants in Ontario,” she said. “If an accident were to happen people need to be able to take protective action like taking thyroid blocking pills — KI pills — just before or as radioactive emissions begin to occur, as well as evacuate safely.”

Environmental advocates have for years been urging a wider distribution of those potassium iodide, or KI, pills. Radioactive iodine is released in the event of a nuclear accident, and the potassium iodide pills can help protect against thyroid cancer.

The pills are currently distributed to households and businesses within a 10-kilometre radius of the nuclear sites, but the environmentalists want that to be 50 kilometres. People outside the 10-kilometre radius can currently request the pills.

The groups also say the government has no comprehensive plan to address potential contamination of the Great Lakes, which are a source of drinking water for millions.

Lalonde said bottled water would be distributed.

“As we move forward in our plan based on the plume and the zone as to how significant — in the unlikely event that this was to occur — certainly our plan will distribute the water through various organizations that would be part of the emergency preparedness.”

The plan sets out different plans for different zones around the nuclear sites. Priority evacuations will be in the contiguous or adjacent zone, three kilometres around Pickering, Darlington and Bruce. A primary zone of 10 kilometres around those sites will see measures against exposure to a radioactive plume. In a secondary zone, 50 kilometres around those three sites, the plan takes steps to prevent ingestion of contaminated food and water.

The plan is posted for public comment until July 14 on the province’s regulatory and environmental registries. Lalonde said experts will be reviewing all the comments to decide what changes need to be made.

Using microbes to clean up oil spills

Thunder Bay, Ontario biotech firm unleashes eco-friendly solution on contaminated sites

As reported in Northern Ontario Business, a Thunder Bay, Ontario biotech company has developed a solution to remediating contaminated industrial sites in Northern Ontario.

Established in 2014, BioNorth Solutions is the creation of two school buddies, its president, Amber Kivisto, and Miranda Lock, the chief scientific officer.

Their six-employee environmental consulting company specializes in bioremediation of contaminated soil, mine tailing waste, and wastewater and sludge treatment using lab-enhanced microorganisms.

It’s the same approach used in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico where billions of tiny hydrocarbon-eating microbes were unleashed to remove thousands of tons of oil from the water.

Kivisto and Lock first met in a lab at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.

Kivisto attained a master’s in genetics, while Lock has her master’s in microbiology and a PhD in environmental biotechnology.

The idea to go into business together came about as they were lamenting the lack of opportunity to find work locally as environmental scientists.

“We had to create our own, or move,” said Kivisto. “Because I had business experience – previously co-owning a heavy equipment company – that came into play, and we decided to go for it.”

Out in the field, their team conducts a microbial profile at the contaminated site to select what bacteria naturally exist. They test it to see how effective it is against either hydrocarbons or mine tailings. From there, they customize a solution in the lab.

“Sometimes it’s as simple as giving (the bacteria) an extra food source, like a sugar-type base, that will increase their growth and adding a chemical that will start activating to remove whatever the case may be, whether it’s hydrocarbons or ammonia,” said Kivisto.

“We’re working with whatever is there, and we’re just trying to enhance it and make it more efficient.

“With hydrocarbons, they literally eat the oil. They break it down into shorter carbon chains, and at the same time they’re expelling CO2 and water.”

Last July, they moved from their original Dawson Road location into new downtown space at the corner of Cumberland Street and Red River Road where they have a fully-equipped microbiology lab with incubator shakers, centrifuges, and a DNA section.

At the same time, they’ve opened a spinoff production division, Microbiate, featuring their spill kit product. Kivisto attributes the spill kit idea to her business partner, Lock and her microbiology background.

While in the heavy equipment business, Kivisto noticed there were always chronic places for spills to occur around the property.

“We were always tearing down equipment and constantly a leak always oil on the ground. There was nothing really based toward bacteria for a northern climate.”

The microbes they release are hardly enough to withstand the extreme temperatures of Canada, the northern U.S. and Europe.

The kits are promoted as a cost effective solution than going through the lengthy process of having to remove contaminated soil.

“This works for the long term,” said Kivisto. “If you have an area that’s prone to spills where you’re parking trucks, like a fueling station, this is constantly working throughout the year.”

The kits range in price from a $49.95 package to handle five square feet, to the larger $2,999.95 barrel to treat 1,000 square feet.

Depending on the size of the spill, a contaminated property is cleaned to acceptable Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) standards within two to three months.

Four industrial suppliers in the city are selling her kits, and she’s angling to get the product on the store shelves of a major retailer.

“It’s been a super-good reception. In October, we started selling (the kits) and we sold out within two days, and then the ground froze. We realized we had to amp up production so didn’t really push sales over winter. Now I’m really going out and pushing it. I’d say 80 to 90 per cent of the people that see the product and have it explained; they’re very interested.”

With the ground starting to thaw, Kivisto was taking the kits to forestry and mineral exploration trade shows.

“We’re definitely getting some traction,” said Kivisto, whose clients include a northwestern gold miner, a forest products manufacturer, and two companies in Thunder Bay. In their plans is the release of an anaerobic version of the spill kits.

“Say, if an oil spill extended under a building –which is really problematic – this would provide a solution where you’re essentially drilling cores into the floor of the building and injecting the solution.”

On the regulatory side, Kivisto said they are in the final stages of receiving formal approvals from the MOECC by May, which will grant them a mobile environmental compliance approval allowing them to work anyplace and not have to obtain a separate certification for each new site.




Forecast on the Chemical Detection Equipment Market

There is a growing demand in the Hazmat industry for equipment that can rapidly identify chemical or biological agents involved hazmat incident.  Chemical detection equipment are generally used to identify the presence and intensity of chemical agents in soil, air as well as water and to alert respective authorities and personnel to the existence of toxic or hazardous substances, so necessary action can be taken to prevent catastrophes, as it can be dangerous whether it is in a weaponized or non-weaponized form.

Future Market Insights recently released a report, Chemical Detection Equipment Market NA: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2017-2027, that examines the chemical detection market with forecasts on the size of the market in coming years.  The report,

The report claims that chemical detection equipment which is small, effective, simple and relatively cheap is in trend.  Portable chemical detection equipment with infrared technology & Raman spectroscopy has already captured a major market share due to the above stated reasons.

The report states that North America is a major market for chemical detection equipment as continuous research and development is required in this field and the United States is a leader in the R&D of chemical detection technology.