ArticleEmerging TechEnvironmentalSustainability

Environmentally friendly soil conditioning for EPB TBMs — The state of environmental considerations around the world

Environmental considerations are widely present in the modern world, and there is a global push in most industries for sustainability and environmental consciousness. In the tunneling market, many projects being built are intended to benefit the environment.

One critical aspect of tunnel projects that must be considered is muck handling and disposal. Tunnel boring machines (TBMs) generate a lot of muck. Earth pressure balance (EPB) machines are one of the most common TBMs, especially in urban areas. Chemical products such as foaming agents and polymers are added to the soil to allow for the safe and effective operation of EPB machines. When it exits the TBM the muck produced is laden with these soil-conditioning chemicals. These residual chemicals may pose an environmental impact if im...

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