The land, in Shawfield, part of the Clyde Gateway regeneration area in the East End of Glasgow and South Lanarkshire, has a long history of heavy industrial use.

The new scheme will look at whether calcium polysulfide, a chemical used in farming, can deal with chromite ore processing residue.

The residue is a common problem in many former industrial locations and contains the highly toxic chromium Cr(VI), which traditional remediation methods have not been able to clean.

Tests have showed calcium polysulfide may be able to convert the toxic pollution into a much more manageable substance.

The tests are being carried out by engineering firms Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering (BBGE) and URS and, if successful, could have significant implications for the remediation of Cr(VI) contaminated land worldwide.

BBGE’s geoenvironmental director, Ian Gatenby, said: “BBGE companies have a long history of developing cutting edge ground engineering solutions and this latest project is no exception.

“It is exciting that through innovation we can combine an agrochemical with a proven technique from the ground engineering industry and develop a bespoke solution to a very complex remediation problem.

“As far as I am aware this is the first time this method has been trialled in the UK and it has huge potential for our industry if it goes well.

“We are all looking forward to seeing the results.”

The project is being closely observed by the environmental think-tank Contaminated Land: Applications in Real Environments (CL:AIRE).

Luke Walsh

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