Soil Steam’s Gaia kills alien pests and weeds in the soil with steam, allowing soil found during construction and building of railways and roads to be reused instead of discarded.
Transporting suitable soil to and from a construction site risks transporting soil with invasive alien species — weeds and pests not native to the construction site – which may harm local ecosystems.
Although pesticides may be capable of destroying some invasive species, they pose significant health and environmental hazards. And when found to contain invasive species, even high-quality soil is banned from relocation and must be discarded at an approved depot.
Soil Steam’s Gaia is a stationary treatment unit that destroys 100 per cent of all invasive species in soil – including fungi, weeds, seeds, insects and nematodes – without the need for pesticides.
The invaded soil is fed from a truck into a transportable treatment unit, conveyed through a precisely calibrated steaming chamber, and then deposited directly into a shipping container. The patented technology can treat up to 50 m³ of soil per hour.
Soil Steam’s Gaia increases the profitability of soil delivery for roads, railways and construction by preventing quality soil from being discarded due to invasive species or soil-borne fungal diseases.
Gaia also removes pests and pathogens from the soil used in greenhouses, so that it may be reused after each crop instead of being replaced.
Invasive alien species cause billions of euros worth of damage to the European economy every year. In the US, meanwhile, crop and forest production losses from invasive insects and pathogens have been estimated at almost USD 40 billion per year.
Soil Steam’s technology is based on more than 20 years of research, development and testing, with support from partners such as the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), the Research Council of Norway and EIT Climate-KIC.
Soil Steam also produces SoilPrep2020 — a mobile solution that steams soil down to depths of 30 cm, destroying weeds, seeds, pests and pathogens in open fields.