The no. 1 choice for improving the performance of soil and groundwater remediation


Courtesy of Ivey International Inc.

Adsorption of Contamination

The number one challenge associated with most site remediation designs and methodologies is that 90% to 95% of all environmental contaminants; including hydrocarbons (LNAPL), chlorinates (DNAPL), and heavy metals; are present in a sorbed (i.e., absorbed or adsorbed) phase onto soil and bedrock surfaces within both saturated and unsaturated zones. As such, the absorbed contamination has reduced mobility and low water solubility. These factors greatly limit the ‘Availability’ of the subject contamination for extraction or treatment during In-situ and Ex-situ remediation treatment.

This condition is further exasperated when the contamination is present in fine-grain soil media (i.e., silty sand, to silty clays) with greatly reduced permeability, i.e., K=1x10 to 1x10 cm/sec, and a corresponding increased surface area onto which the contaminants may sorb. Thus, the sorbed contamination will often exhibit reduced mobility and limited ‘Availability’ for treatment using many commonly employed in-situ and ex-situ remediation technologies and processes. As a consequence, site remediation can be much longer than desired and exceed even the best of cost estimates; a source of considerable frustration for many clients. -5-6

Among the many commonly employed remedial technologies negatively affected by contaminant absorption include, but are not limited to:

  • Pump and Treatment (In-situ);
  • Bioremediation of Recalcitrant Compounds (In-situ and Ex-situ);
  • Chemical Oxidation and Chemical Reduction (In-situ and Ex-situ);
  • Steam Injection Mobilization or Vaporization (In-situ and Ex-situ);
  • VES - Vapor Extraction Systems (In-situ and Ex-situ); and
  • Reactive Barrier Wall Technology (In-situ)

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