The Environmental Remediation Group and its core team members have industry leading experience in the design, construction, and implementation of all three thermal remediation technologies.
As a company, we have implemented nineteen (19) thermal remediation projects. Within our organization, our team of thermal remediation experts have collectively designed, built, and operated over 110 different thermal remediation projects. Starting with the very first commercial projects in the 1990's, our team has been the heartbeat of the thermal remediation industry for over 28-years, designing and implementing some of the most advanced thermal projects ever endeavored, with accolades that include:
The concept of using thermal technologies for in situ remediation purposes began in the oil and gas sector in the 1950s to enhance recovery of petroleum. Since this time numerous different technologies, devices, systems, and strategies have been developed and commercialized for environmental remediation applications. Electrical Resistance Heating (ERH), Thermal Conductive Heating (TCH), and Steam Enhanced Extraction (SEE) are the in situ thermal technologies available in the marketplace which are capable of effectively remediating a wide range of VOC and SVOC impacted contaminant compounds from different hydrogeological settings, ranging from tight clays to more permeable gravel aquifers. When applied aggressively, these technologies can reduce residual contamination to very low levels which are often unmatched by other commercially available technologies and approaches.
The Group offers all three thermal technologies for In-Situ applications, and TCH for Ex-Situ Pile applications
TCH uses heaters powered by fuel combustion and/or electrically resistive heating elements, which generate and propagate heat in the subsurface through thermal conduction from the heaters to the surrounding soil. TCH can be useful in lower temperature applications,
targeting operating temperatures as low as 40 degree C where the overall strategy is to maximize heat enhanced biodegradation, 40 to 70 degrees C temperatures to maximize hydrolysis and free product removal, all the way to high temp applications reaching over 350 degrees C for SVOC, PAH, PFAS or other applications where recalcitrant compounds require temperatures above the boiling point of water. Thermal conductivity varies insignificantly across a wide range of soils, lithologies and hyrostratigraphic conditions, affording TCH applications a great deal of control and precision.
ERH uses electrodes, placed in 3-phase or 6-phase arrays, to force a controlled current through the subsurface, propagating from electrode to electrode. Soil between electrodes resists that current flow and electrical energy is transformed into heat energy, causing the soil matrix to heat. ERH is an effective option for low to moderate temperature applications up to ~100 degrees C. ERH can be applied with a great degree of control especially for low temp applications as it does not generate “hot spots” around each electrode well as is the case for TCH based technologies. As such, ERH can be a very important technology for low temp applications, such as heat enhanced bioremediation, as a few degrees can determine whether degradation reactions fully proceed.
SEE involves the injection of steam at variable pressures and flow rates through screened injection wells placed throughout a treatment volume. This is coupled with MPE and/or groundwater extraction wells to ensure hydraulic control and to mitigate any off-site migration of contaminants. This technology is Ideal for remediation of VOCs and free product in highly transmissive intervals that feature high permeability lithology and groundwater flow rates that would otherwise render ERH or TCH impossible. However, SEE is limited to 100 degree C applications, and the Site conditions that permit SEE to be effectively implemented are specific and highly restrictive.
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