Dumping pump and treat: rapid cleanups using thermal technology

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Underground spills of volatile hydrocarbons are often difficult to clean up, especially if the contaminants are present in or below the water table as a separate liquid-organic phase. Excavating and treating the contaminated soil may not be practical or even possible if the affected zone is relatively deep. Merely pumping groundwater has proven to be ineffective because huge amounts of water must be flushed through the contaminated area to clean it; even then the contaminants may not be completely removed. Due to the low solubility of most common contaminants, such pump and treat systems can be expected to take decades ... continued below

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26 p.; Other: FDE: PDF; PL:

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Newmark, R.L. & Aines, R.D. March 11, 1997.

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Underground spills of volatile hydrocarbons are often difficult to clean up, especially if the contaminants are present in or below the water table as a separate liquid-organic phase. Excavating and treating the contaminated soil may not be practical or even possible if the affected zone is relatively deep. Merely pumping groundwater has proven to be ineffective because huge amounts of water must be flushed through the contaminated area to clean it; even then the contaminants may not be completely removed. Due to the low solubility of most common contaminants, such pump and treat systems can be expected to take decades to centuries to actually clean a site. Today, many sites are required to pump and treat contaminated groundwater even though there is no expectation that the site will be cleaned. In these cases, the pumps simply control the spread of the contaminant, while requiring a continuous flow of money, paperwork, and management attention. Although pump and treat systems are relatively inexpensive to operate, they represent along term cost. Most importantly, they rarely remove enough contaminant to change the property`s status. Although a pump and treat system can offer compliance in a regulatory sense, it doesn`t solve the site`s liability problem. Thermal methods promise to solve this dilemma by actually cleaning a property in a short time period, thus limiting the period of liability. This may involve cleaning a site to closure during the initial contaminant-removal phase, or removal of the majority of the contaminant so that natural processes such as bioremediation can return the site to pristine condition over a period of years, without further owner intervention. Today`s regulatory environment encourages this approach through efforts such as the brownfields initiatives. In either case, this requires a strong commitment on the part of the site owner. Most if not all the cleanup occurs within the first year or so, and nearly all the cost. In our experience, the total cleanup cost is still significantly smaller than with conventional methods. The real benefit is the cleanup and thus the removal of liability within a realistic time frame.

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26 p.; Other: FDE: PDF; PL:

Notes

OSTI as DE98050865

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  • National spring meeting and petrochemical exposition of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and 2. plant operations and design conference, Houston, TX (United States), 10-13 Mar 1997

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  • Other: DE98050865
  • Report No.: UCRL-JC--126637
  • Report No.: CONF-970321--
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 574818
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc691700

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • March 11, 1997

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • Feb. 18, 2016, 12:33 p.m.

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Newmark, R.L. & Aines, R.D. Dumping pump and treat: rapid cleanups using thermal technology, article, March 11, 1997; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc691700/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.