History and background
Envit Ltd., the company for environmental technology and engineering was established in 2010 as a spin off company of University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. The founding of Envit Ltd. was initiated by prof. Domen Leštan and his fellow two PhD students, following the development of innovative soil washing technology (now ReSoil®) at UL to the level which attested the feasibility and commercial potential of the technology. Neža Finžgar, PhD become the managing director of Envit Ltd. In 2015 the majority of shares of Envit Ltd. was acquired by Arhel Ltd. In 2017 the construction of a demonstration-al soil-washing plant with ReSoil® technology commenced in the city of Prevalje, nearby Pb, Zn and Cd contaminated Meza Valley, Slovenia, co-financed from EU LIFE + Programme and a corporate investment fund from Arhel Ltd. The plant with capacity of 1.5 tons of soil/batch and up to 6 tons/day obtained an operating permit in July 2018. For dissemination purposes and for on-site demonstration of the ReSoil® to end users, decision makers and local lay public we constructed the mobile, autonomous pilot-scale remediation unit with capacity 300 kg of soil/day.
The development of ReSoil® is an example of the successful transfer of knowledge from academia into industrial practice. ReSoil® technology is now a breakthrough, globally important soil remediation option on the verge of commercialization. ReSoil® technology is highly innovative and IP is internationally protected by three patents and one patent application. It is regarded as breakthrough, market disturbing technology. ReSoil® was awarded with Seal of Excellence from the EU Commission which allows projects with ReSoil® technology to access EU structural and cohesion funds.
The main competitive advantage of ReSoil® technology is the simultaneous removal of metalloid arsenic, and lead and other toxic metals from contaminated soils and sediments. Arsenic and lead are ranking no. 1 and 2 in the substance priority list maintained by the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. These are substances which pose the most significant threat to human health due to their toxicity and potential for human exposure. The ReSoil® is, in addition, compatible with bioremediation and natural attenuation for removal of organic pollutants. The innovative feature of ReSoil® is recycling of process solutions and main reagent in a closed process loop using inexpensive reagents and materials, which environmental use is not restricted by EU REACH legislation. The ReSoil® pose no secondary threat to environment, it is emission free, only solid waste is generated. With distinction to other soil-washing technologies no wastewater is generated. Of other main requirements the ReSoil® preserves soil quality and functioning as a natural resource and plant substrate. Minimal infrastructural requirements of ReSoil® enables for on-site remedial operations. The ReSoil® is the only commercially available technology which removes both toxic metalloids and toxic metals (commonly known as “heavy metals”) from soil simultaneously, efficiently and sustainably.