Ex Situ Physical/Chemical Treatment for Soil, Sediment, and Sludge

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The main advantage of ex situ treatment is that it generally requires shorter time periods than in situ treatment, and there is more certainty about the uniformity of treatment because of the ability to homogenize, screen, and continuously mix the soil. Ex situ treatment, however, requires excavation of soils, leading to increased costs and engineering for equipment, possible permitting, and material handling/worker exposure conditions.

Physical/chemical treatment uses the physical properties of the contaminants or the contaminated medium to destroy (i.e, chemically convert), separate, or immobilize the contamination. Chemical reduction/oxidation and dehalogenation (APEG, BCD or glycolate) are destruction technologies. Soil washing, SVE, and solvent extraction are separation techniques, and Solidification/Stabilization (S/S) is an immobilization technique.

Physical/chemical treatment is typically cost effective and can be completed in short time periods (in comparison with biological treatment). Equipment is readily available and is not engineering or energy-intensive. Treatment residuals from separation techniques will require treatment or disposal, which will add to the total project costs and may require permits.

Available ex situ physical/chemical treatment technologies include chemical extraction, chemical reduction/oxidation, dehalogenation (APEG, BCD or glycolate), separation, soil washing, SVE, solar detoxification, S/S, and solvent extraction.

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