TerraTherm is a worldwide leader in the development and implementation of in situ thermal remediation of organic contaminants in subsurface source zones. We advise on, design, build, and operate thermal remediation projects from concept to closure. We offer the broadest array of thermal remediation technologies in the industry, allowing us to tailor project designs to specific site conditions, using the optimal combination of methods, without bias towards any single technology or approach. TerraTherm partners with leading engineering firms, government agencies, corporations, and property owners in flexible, cooperative relationships to achieve cleanup goals. Our expertise, broad set of proven technologies, and seasoned staff combine to provide the most effective cleanup available for a broad array of contaminants within all soil types and site conditions.
We deliver high return on investment, dramatically increase property value, and minimize liability. Our projects are neighborhood-friendly, producing minimal noise, dust and disruption. They achieve complete results within predictable time frames, enable final site closure, optimize property value, and eliminate the risks of liability and long-term threats from contaminants.
The opportunity to form TerraTherm as we know it today came in 2000 when a division of Royal Dutch Shell donated a cutting edge technology to the University of Texas at Austin, which in turn licensed it to TerraTherm’s co-founders, thus making the launch of TerraTherm possible. Since that time, TerraTherm has broadened its capabilities, developed and patented new methods, added numerous partners, proven the applicability of thermal remediation, and completed numerous successful projects worldwide.
The people of TerraTherm are passionately committed to what we do. We offer our clients and partners the broadest range of thermal remediation technologies and consulting services available in the marketplace today, bonded to a strongly held set of core values that ensure integrity, dedication, and professionalism.
We are committed to establishing and maintaining a clear leadership position in In Situ Thermal Remediation through excellence in process, the proper application of technologies, careful stewardship of business relationships, and continuous improvement in all that we do.
We are deeply environmentally conscious and strictly focused on the business and regulatory goals of customers. We never forget that customer and partner loyalty are earned every day by focusing at all times on their requirements, cost parameters, concerns, and desired outcomes.
Our management team, senior technologists, and project managers offer a long and impressive record of achievement, publications, patents, and successful projects. We have succeeded in attracting and retaining some of the most highly trained, accomplished, talented, high performance individuals in the industry, and enjoy an unsurpassed team spirit and can-do attitude.
Our passion for our work, a desire to be the best, and our respect for our teammates, colleagues, and customers make TerraTherm an excellent business partner and a great place to work. This is also evidenced by our unwavering devotion to safety. Our perfect safety record is testimony to our attention to training, details, and procedures.
Reasons to Think Thermal
- Completed numerous projects on 5 continents
- Clean, quiet, in situ operations
- Minimal neighborhood impact
- Impressive safety record
We clean up toxic contaminants in soil and groundwater
Achieve even stringent cleanup goals:
- All organic contaminants
- All soil types
- Above and below the water table
- Inside buildings, near infrastructure
- In fractured rock
Thermal's Proven Value
- High return on investment
- Dramatic increase in property value
- Consistently achieve required standards
- Reduce or eliminate liability
Learn about our technologies
Our broad range of low, moderate and higher temperature technologies allows us to tailor designs to your site’s conditions and requirements
- Thermal Conductive Heating (TCH) via In Situ Thermal Desorption (ISTD) or In Pile Thermal Desorption (IPTD)
- Steam Enhanced Extraction (SEE)
- Electrical Resistance Heating (ERH)
We're finding ways to do it better, cheaper and greener.
Thermal is getting even better. Studies by third parties show it can be highly sustainable compared to other remedies able to achieve equivalent goals. And often the changes we're considering to make it greener actually work better and save money too!
TerraTherm’s Research and Development (R&D) efforts are focused on making our proven thermal technologies ever better; advancing the efficiency, applicability, and cost-effectiveness of our solutions, and sharing our findings to advance the state of the art. Our internal R&D group works with leading research institutions to develop, test and deploy new methodologies and materials.
We have been selected as a key contractor in important research projects to prove the reliability of thermal methods for various contaminants, soils and site types such as fractured rock. Our principals are frequent contributors to the remediation community, providing papers, presentations, and insight in a wide variety of forums and publications.
Research Partnerships and Joint Projects
TerraTherm works closely with leading institutions such as the University of Texas and the University of Stuttgart to improve processes and tools. Shell Technology Ventures donated patents to UT which in turn licensed them exclusively to TerraTherm. We fund and collaborate with UT Austin faculty and students in their research. This close relationship has led to many papers, graduate theses, and numerous research publications and papers.
Another example of research collaboration was a four year SERDP-funded project featuring controlled release of DNAPL into a lower-permeability aquitard layer beneath the water table. This research was conducted at the facilities of VEGAS - the Research Facility for Subsurface Remediation at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.
Currently TerraTherm researchers are collaborating with the U.S. Navy, Queens University and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on an ESTCP-funded demonstration project at the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) site in W. Trenton, NJ, studying the feasibility of utilizing TCH for treatment of DNAPL in fractured rock. The NAWC site is the USGS’s principal research site within the U.S. focusing on DNAPL in fractured sedimentary rock, which represents two-thirds of the rock in the U.S.
TerraTherm has long been a leader in the development and refinement of specialized equipment to improve the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of thermal remediation. Our proprietary, reusable heating elements have substantially cut power consumption and project cost for ISTD projects.
Patented and proprietary materials and methods
TerraTherm, its licensors, and its leadership team have over 28 U.S. patents and 88 international patents and patents pending on a wide range of technologies. They include U.S. patents on:
- Vacuum methods for removing soil contamination
- In situ decontamination by focused microwave/radio frequency heating
- Method for recovering contaminants from soil utilizing electrical heating with a pattern of electrodes.
- Thermal well designs
- Heater blanket designs for in-situ soil heating
- Enhanced deep soil vapor extraction processes for removing contaminants trapped in or below the water table
- Radiant plate heaters for treatment of contaminated surfaces
- Methods for treating DNAPL by applying heat
- Methods and means for treating contaminants in soil piles using centralized equipment
- In Pile Thermal Desorption
A respected and widely published leadership team
Members of TerraTherm’s leadership team are frequently invited to serve on research advisory committees and have published dozens of papers, handbooks, and presentations including:
- Thermal Treatment of Eight CVOC Source Zones to Near Non-Detect Concentrations
- First Thermal Remediation Using a Combination of Steam and ISTD
- Thermally Enhanced Soil Vapor Extraction Closing DNAPL Sites - Case Studies
- Use of Thermal Conduction Heating for the Remediation of DNAPL in Fractured Bedrock
- Why In Situ Thermal Desorption Can Be the Most Cost-Effective Remediation Method for Many Sites
- Dominating Processes during DNAPL Removal from the Saturated Zone Using Thermal Wells
- Does Field Data Show Downward Mobilization of DNAPL during Thermal Treatment?
- Heat it All the Way - Mechanisms and Results Achieved using In-Situ Thermal Remediation
- Completion of In-situ Thermal Remediation of PAHs, PCP and Dioxins at a Former Wood Treatment Facility
- USEPA Technology News and Trends: In-Situ Thermal Remediation Completed on Wood-Treatment Waste
- Full-Scale Removal of DNAPL Constituents using Steam Enhanced Extraction and Electrical Resistance Heating
- DNAPL Removal From the Saturated Zone Using Thermal Wells
- Improved Approach for Implementing ISTD for Remediation of Chlorinated Solvents
- In-Pile Thermal Desorption of PAHs, PCBs and Dioxins/Furans in Soil and Sediment
- Demonstration of Three Levels of In-Situ Heating for Remediation of a Former MGP Site
- An Examination of Using ISTD to Remediate Mercury-Contaminated Soils
- In-Situ Delivery of Heat by Thermal Conduction and Steam Injection for Improved DNAPL Remediation
- Application of ISTD to the Remediation of CVOCs in Saturated and Unsaturated Settings
- In-Situ Thermal Destruction of MGP Waste in a Former Gasholder: Design and Installation
- Performance Relative to Dioxins of ISTD Soil Remediation Technology
- Remediating Subsurface Mercury Contamination using ISTD
- In Situ Thermal Desorption of Refined Petroleum Hydrocarbons from Saturated Soil
- In Situ Thermal Destruction Makes Stringent Soil and Sediment Cleanup Goals Attainable.
TerraTherm endorses and contributes to the efforts of the Sustainable Remediation Forum (SURF) in working to define sustainability and social responsibility as they relate to site cleanup.
TerraTherm strives to establish and maintain a leadership role in the evolution of sustainable remediation through continuous improvement in all operational aspects.
Ancillary environmental impacts from cleanups
Our technologies prevent migration of contaminants from the site. In addition, since there is no excavation or transportation of materials, airborne contaminants, dust, and noise are virtually non-existent. Treatment of collected gases is thorough with odorless and clean vapor emissions. As a result, our technologies prevent ancillary environmental impacts.
Energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions
TerraTherm’s technologies employ electrical power. Since our project cycles are short and predictable, total energy use is well defined and the need for repeated applications or long-term operations and maintenance is eliminated; therefore, remediation is rapid and is inherently more sustainable than potential trial-and-error approaches that may use more resources, delay redevelopment, put Greenfields at risk of development, and create more emissions in the long run.
TerraTherm has been successful in steadily increasing the energy efficiency of our technologies through R&D and innovation.
The rapid and final site cleanup advantages, extremely high level of safety, cleanliness of our operations, and low community impact combine to make in situ thermal remediation a logical and leading choice for sustainability. These factors greatly outweigh the slight carbon impact incurred in the use of electrical power.
Preservation of natural resources and maximization of land reuse to preserve undeveloped areas
Undeveloped lands play an important role in mitigating the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Among the most efficient ways to prevent undeveloped lands from being committed to industrial use is to revitalize and clean Brownfields for reuse in a timely and predictable manner. The rapid and predictable results of in situ thermal remediation ensure the redevelopment of Brownfields on a fixed timeline, thereby reducing urban sprawl and preserving Greenfields. No other remediation technology achieves this sustainability goal as quickly or completely as in situ thermal remediation.
Permanent elimination of contamination
In situ thermal remediation is proven to be uniquely effective in the elimination and stabilization of contaminants. Results consistently demonstrate the achievement of site cleanup goals even to drinking water standards (where applicable). Through carefully engineered and controlled processes, permanent remediation is measurable and ensured through in situ destruction, desorption, stabilization, and/or extraction of contaminants. In addition, mobilization of contaminants is prevented by these processes, ensuring the safety of adjacent water supplies. No other remediation technology has proven more effective in the permanent elimination of contaminants.
Public and contractor safety and health during and after the project
TerraTherm has maintained an impeccable safety record throughout its history. Further, it can be said that in situ thermal remediation is inherently safer than other methods because little or no dust, heavy vehicle movement, chemical use, harmful emissions, or noise are consequential to the process. In this way, threats to public and contractor health that are common to excavation, chemical treatment, and some other purportedly “green” methods are eliminated or greatly reduced.
Recycling of materials
TerraTherm endeavors to reuse, refurbish, and recycle materials to the fullest extent possible. We have found that refurbishing process equipment to fully restore it to useful life is both economical and safe. It also provides reductions in ancillary life cycle costs (resource extraction, manufacturing, shipping, etc.) Our aim is to exemplify the principal of “waste not, want not.”