2016 In Review

I’m pleased to provide a brief review of TerraTherm’s progress toward our mission to be the worldwide leader in the development and implementation of thermal remediation of organic contaminant source zones. I am thankful to those customers we had the honor of serving this past year.  Team TerraTherm is  dedicated to earning and keeping our customers’ trust and goodwill, by always endeavoring to fully comprehend and meet their remediation and related business objectives. TerraTherm started the year by adding another international partner, Beijing Enviro-Chem Environmental Technology CO., Ltd (Beijing Enviro-Chem). Beijing Enviro-Chem and TerraTherm are pleased to join forces in … Continue reading

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Liquid Granular Activated Carbon System Design Considerations

When developing a liquid treatment system design at TerraTherm, we keep in mind that the system will be temporary and have an overall short duration; typically 12 months or less. This means that we need to design and select a process configuration that minimizes the cost of meeting applicable discharge requirements. Cost elements taken into consideration include: To design the most cost-effective treatment system for each project, we rely on site owners and their consultants to provide detailed soil and groundwater characterization and identify the specific discharge requirements that will apply to the thermal remediation program. Liquid phase activated carbon … Continue reading

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Achieving Work-Life Balance

I think most of us work to earn money to pay the bills.  How much of our time is devoted to this effort?  It is reasonable that a comfortable “balance” exists between work and personal life but just what does that mean?  To me it means a stress free life.  There are certain “jobs” that require our attention around the clock and throughout the calendar (24/7 in hip-speak). A Project Manager’s job at TerraTherm would fall under this category. We must work day and night and always be available in order to ensure the projects run smoothly. There are other … Continue reading

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How TerraTherm’s ThinkThermal Website and Data Plotter Connect Clients with Real Time Data

Thermal projects are quick – we often heat and treat a site in less than 6 months.  It is crucial to be on top of all the data and know when it is time to stop, or when to collect confirmatory samples to document performance.  Every day and week counts, so the project team must have immediate access to the data from the field. As an engineer and data manager for TerraTherm, I have found that two of the most useful tools that I have to help keep our project teams and clients up to date are the ThinkThermal.com website … Continue reading

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What’s the Temperature? Thermal Modeling and its Importance in Thermal Remediation

What is a model? A beautiful person who struts down a run way, a scaled down sculpture of the Empire State Building, or a series of equations that describe some phenomenon? Did you guess all of the above? Gold star! Models come in many different shapes and sizes. In the environmental consulting and remediation industry, the word “model” often refers to a numerical model. Numerical models are tools that we use to better understand a system. They can be used to make predictions and to test hypotheses. The thermal models that we customize and construct in house at TerraTherm are … Continue reading

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2015 In Review

2015 was once again a year of continued growth and success for TerraTherm. Over these past twelve months we have experienced a fair share of achievements, milestones and positive changes. To start the year off, TerraTherm was awarded with Environmental Business Journal’s (EBJ) 2014 Gold Medal for Business Achievement in the Mid-size Firm category as well as a Project Merit Award for Remediation. TerraTherm received EBJ’s Gold Medal for increasing revenue nearly threefold from 2011 to 2014.  TerraTherm was one of 50 companies honored by EBJ for revenue growth, acquisitions, innovative project designs, technology applications, new practice areas, social contributions … Continue reading

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TerraTherm Gains Certification of Heating System

As an Electrical Engineer at TerraTherm, one of the most interesting (and at times challenging) aspects of my work stems from the following deceptively simple article from the National Electric Code (NEC): Article 110.2 of the NEC NEC 110: Requirement for Electrical Installations The conductors and equipment required or permitted by this Code shall be acceptable only if approved. Since the NEC is adopted, and in many instances with amendments, by individual states, this one simple article may be expanded to include additional requirements.  For example, in the California Electric Code (CEC): CEC – Sec. 83-2  All Electrical materials, devices, … Continue reading

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Speeding down the Data Highway

Interpreting analytical data collected from our process streams during operations is sort of like driving a car forward, but only being able to look at the rearview mirror. During operations at our thermal remediation sites, TerraTherm routinely collects a variety of process vapor (whole air canisters/bottle-vacs, and/or solid adsorbent tubes) and liquid samples.  The exact sampling and analytical methods used vary from site to site; each site is truly unique with different combinations of subsurface contaminants, site geology/groundwater chemistries, heating approach, as well as site specific cleanup goals and permitted discharge limits. These process analytical data are used to: Evaluate … Continue reading

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The Process of Hot Soil Sampling and Why it’s Worth the Effort

Do you like to get your hands dirty? For TerraTherm, hot soil sampling is often the defining parameter for the timeline and completion of an In Situ Thermal Remediation project, and for myself, was a great learning experience and an opportunity for me to try something new and exciting. Cleanup of contaminant source zones is what TerraTherm is known for. And those source zones that keep us in business are analyzed through soil sampling. For most project sites, the soil is sampled at various locations before the project begins, sometimes a few times during operations, and one final confirmation round … Continue reading

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World’s Largest In Situ Thermal Desorption Project: Challenges and Solutions

TerraTherm and its In Situ Thermal Desorption (ISTD) sublicense holders have cleaned close to 50 sites, but what happens when we are presented with one that is remarkably large with more than 100,000 cubic yards (76,500 m3) of PCE and TCE rich soils to a depth of over 40 feet (12 m)? The site in particular that was presented to TerraTherm was a former aerospace manufacturing facility and had to be remediated in less than a year. Successfully completed by TerraTherm, this site in Teterboro, New Jersey is now the largest ISTD project to date. The redevelopment of this former … Continue reading

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