Electrically Based Technologies Heat Up The Cleanup Market

September 10, 1997

RICHLAND, Wash. -- Technologies that promise faster, cheaper and more effective cleanup of certain contaminated soils now are available commercially through a new company formed jointly by Battelle and Terra Vac Corporation of Irvine, Calif.

Current Environmental Solutions LLC will bring to market two electrically based technologies -- Six-Phase Soil Heating and In Situ Corona. Six-Phase Soil Heating is a rapid, cost-effective technique that steam strips contaminants from soils in place, eliminating the need for excavation or soil pretreatment. In Situ Corona is designed to destroy toxic materials such as chlorinated solvents, PCBs, pesticides and industrial fuel oils and lubricants. The technologies were developed by Battelle researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory through Department of Energy funding. Battelle operates Pacific Northwest for DOE.

CES, based in Richland, Wash., initially will focus on the deployment of Six-Phase Soil Heating as well as further development of In Situ Corona.

Six-Phase Soil Heating relies on an electrical current to heat the soil, causing moisture to boil and strip volatile and semi-volatile contaminants from soil particles. The contaminated steam is removed through venting and treated above ground.

The splitting of conventional three-phase electricity into six separate electrical phases allows for more uniform heating and larger treatment areas. Unlike conventional vapor extraction methods, CES's technique is effective in tightly bound soils, such as silts and clays, as well as saturated soils. The process not only is less expensive than many conventional technologies, but quicker, requiring weeks to remediate large sites versus months or years with other soil-venting technologies.

Whereas the soil heating technique removes contaminants for above-ground treatment, In Situ Corona is designed to destroy organic contaminants underground. Higher voltages are used to create an ionizing plasma, similar to a match flame, that destroys organic contaminants in place, or in situ. This method is effective at destroying nonvolatile contaminants such as greases, pesticides and transformer oils containing PCBs. In Situ Corona is still under development; however, Six-Phase Soil Heating has been demonstrated at several sites across the United States over the past four years.

In a field demonstration at the Savannah River Site in 1993, soil heating was used to treat more than 675 metric tons of soil contaminated with trichlorethylene and perchloroethylene, including organics suspended in a clay layer nine meters (29.5 feet) below the surface. Within 25 days, 99.7 percent of the contaminants were removed. Most recently, the technique was used to treat contaminated soil at an electronics manufacturing plant, where more than 4,990 kilograms (11,000 pounds) of perchloroethylene was removed from tight clay soil within six months. Six-Phase Soil Heating also is being developed to treat dense organic liquids in aquifers, an application that was tested successfully at Dover Air Force Base.

For more information, contact Theresa Bergsman, Current Environmental Solutions, at (509) 943-8810.

Terra Vac is a multinational environmental engineering firm specializing in in situ soil and groundwater remediation and site assessments with 11 offices on three continents. Battelle serves industry and government clients in 30 countries by developing, commercializing and managing technology.
-end-


DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Related Contaminants Articles from Brightsurf:

Contaminants from Mount Polley tailings spill continue to affect Quesnel lake
Natural mixing of lake waters may resuspend contaminants deposited in a catastrophic mine spill six years ago, according to a new paper led by a University of Alberta scientist.

Mix of contaminants in Fukushima wastewater, risks of ocean dumping
Nearly 10 years after the Tohoku-oki earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power, radiation levels have fallen to safe levels in all but the waters closest to the shuttered power plant.

Environmental contaminants alter gut microbiome, health
The microbes that inhabit our bodies are influenced by what we eat, drink, breathe and absorb through our skin, and most of us are chronically exposed to natural and human-made environmental contaminants.

Co-occurring contaminants may increase NC groundwater risks
Eighty-four percent of the wells sampled in the Kings Mountain Belt and the Charlotte and Milton Belts of the Piedmont region of North Carolina contained concentrations of vanadium and hexavalent chromium that exceeded health recommendations from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Study estimates more than 100,000 cancer cases could stem from contaminants in tap water
A toxic cocktail of chemical pollutants in US drinking water could result in more than 100,000 cancer cases, according to a peer-reviewed study from Environmental Working Group -- the first study to conduct a cumulative assessment of cancer risks due to 22 carcinogenic contaminants found in drinking water nationwide.

Microbe chews through PFAS and other tough contaminants
In a series of lab tests, a relatively common soil bacterium has demonstrated its ability to break down the difficult-to-remove class of pollutants called PFAS, researchers at Princeton University said.

Urban stormwater could release contaminants to ground, surface waters
A good rainstorm can make a city feel clean and revitalized.

Bronx river turtles get a check-up
A team of scientists and veterinarians gave a health evaluation of turtles living in the Bronx River, one of the most urbanized rivers in the U.S. and the only remaining freshwater river that flows through New York City.

Microbial contaminants found in popular e-cigarettes
Popular electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products sold in the US were contaminated with bacterial and fungal toxins, according to new research from Harvard T.H.

High negative pressure limits dispersion of airborne contaminants in hospitals and renovation sites
Maintaining a high negative pressure in airborne infection isolation rooms of hospitals (over -10 Pa) and in renovation sites (over -5 Pa) effectively limits the dispersion of airborne contaminants and dust, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows.

Read More: Contaminants News and Contaminants Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.