The Basics and Beyond: What Every Environmental Consultant Needs to Know About Thermal Remediation
Mar 24, 2020 -
As an environmental consultant you need to know about a lot of different things, everything from regulatory programs and requirements and the latest technologies for characterizing your site, to choosing the best remedial approach to address the specific site conditions and the objectives of your client. In this post, we share everything from the basics of defining thermal remediation and how to choose the right technology for your project to determining when a combined remedies approach is required.
Choosing a thermal treatment option is a big decision, and there are multiple variables that determine if the project will ultimately be successful. With so much riding on this choice, it’s important to understand how to choose the technology most suited for your site. In this blog post, we cover why you need to start with a strong conceptual site model (CSM), and where to go from there.
A variety of mistakes made on thermal treatment projects—like inadequate vapor capture, shallow contaminant condensation, fugitive emissions and water infiltration into the wellfield—can often be prevented with the correct use of vapor covers. In this blog post, Technical Director Steffen Griepke Nielsen explains the factors that determine whether or not vapor covers should be installed during thermal remediation.
Planning a thermal remediation strategy might seem like magic, but Technical Specialist Amber Bonarrigo pulls back the curtain to reveal how different aspects of the project are determined. She explains the ins and outs behind identifying the appropriate operational duration, developing the design basis for the treatment system, and planning the required energy usage.
If you’ve ever been curious about how thermal projects are optimized throughout the duration, you’ll want to read this post from Instrumentation Engineer Anthony Caravella. He explains how real-time process numbers and field data can be used to course correct and fine tune at any point, and how proper data management leads to on-time and on-budget project completions.
Steam enhanced extraction (SEE) was the first type of ISTR available for remediation projects, but with newer thermal technologies on the market and reaching maturity, we are often asked if SEE is an outdated option. The short answer is no—the long answer is contained in this blog post from Technical Director Steffen Griepke Nielsen.
There are two main challenges when working on fractured rock sites: deciding on a thermal treatment volume that doesn’t make the problem worse and designing and implementing an effective and safe thermal system. This blog post tackles the first of those challenges.
This blog post starts up where the last one left off and explains how to design and implement an effective and safe thermal system at challenging fractured bedrock sites.
Many sites that once seemed contaminated beyond repair are now considered viable for clean-up, thanks to improved technologies and processes. What is becoming evident, however, is that for many complex sites, a single remedy will not be sufficient. This blog post discusses how multiple in situ thermal remediation (ISTR) technologies could be combined on a single site, or how they could be used in conjunction with bioremediation or in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) treatments.
Part 1 of this series dives into the types of thermal remedies available and their respective strengths and weaknesses.
Part 2 of this series explains the concept of biodegradation, how it plays out with chlorinated solvent biodegradation and reductive dichlorination, and how these can be combined with ISTR for a more robust remedy.
If you’d like to learn more about thermal remediation, reach out to John LaChance at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a Lunch & Learn for your team.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vice President, Technology
John LaChance has more than 30 years of experience in the assessment, design and implementation of remediation systems at hazardous waste sites, including 18 years working in in situ thermal remediation (ISTR). He has evaluated and worked on hundreds of sites in the United States, Brazil, China, Australia and several European countries. Mr. LaChance has also led research efforts on how to use sustainable energy and geothermal techniques to gently heat sites to speed up biological and abiotic reaction rates, and has been actively involved with the development and delivery of new methods and approaches for thermal remediation. He has authored several papers and presentations on ISTR and the hydrogeology of DNAPL sites, and is a co-founder of and presenter at ISTR workshops around the globe.