Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable

Common Treatment Technologies for Halogenated VOCs in Soil, Sediment and Sludge


Courtesy of Courtesy of Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable

Soil vapor extraction (SVE), thermal desorption, and incineration are the presumptive remedies for Superfund sites with halogenated VOC-contaminated soil. Because a presumptive remedy is a technology that EPA believes, based upon its past experience, generally will be the most appropriate remedy for a specified type of site, the presumptive remedy approach will accelerate site-specific analysis of remedies by focusing the feasibility study efforts. These presumptive remedies can also be used at non-Superfund sites with halogenated VOC-contaminated soils.

SVE is the preferred presumptive remedy. SVE has been selected most frequently to address VOC contamination at Superfund sites, and performance data indicate that it effectively treats waste in place at a relatively low cost. In cases where SVE will not work or where uncertainty exists regarding the ability to obtain required cleanup levels, thermal desorption may be the most appropriate response technology. In a limited number of situations, incineration may be most appropriate.

Another commonly used technology, bioventing, uses a similar approach to vapor extraction in terms of equipment type and layout but uses air injection rather than extraction and has a different objective: the intent is to use air movement to provide oxygen for aerobic degradation using either indigenous or introduced microorganisms. While some organic materials are usually brought to the surface for treatment with the exhaust air, additional degradation is encouraged in situ. This difference in approach renders less volatile materials (particularly fuel products such as diesel fuel) amenable to the process because volatilization into the soil air is not the primary removal process.

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