Author Archives: Alyson Fortune

About Alyson Fortune

Ms. Fortune is responsible for managing thermal remediation treatability studies and project laboratory interactions, conducting reviews on laboratory data, maintaining complex field equipment monitoring systems (FTIR), and other data management functions.

To Wipe or Not to Wipe: Ensuring Equipment Cleanliness after Decontamination

At TerraTherm, our wellfield and process equipment can take a beating! Between high concentrations of hazardous chemicals, corrosive conditions, and elevated temperatures, piping and equipment generally need a bit of TLC before being put back into circulation for use at another site. When TerraTherm is operating at sites with persistent organic pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or dioxin/furans, decontamination becomes even more difficult and even more important.  Along with typical decontamination procedures such as steam cleaning and pressure washing, washing with a non-ionizing  detergent (e.g. Simple Green) is typically necessary. Additional rinsing of equipment with specialized products such as … 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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Bench Scale Thermal Treatment of 1,4-Dioxane

1,4-Dioxane (not to be confused with dioxin…although we also can certainly thermally treat that! See our updates from the Danang Vietnam project) is an industrial chemical widely used as a chemical stabilizer for chlorinated solvents. It is of environmental concern due to its classification as a probable human carcinogen coupled with its unique chemical properties such as high water solubility (and therefore high subsurface mobility in groundwater), low octanol-water partition coefficient (log Kow), and relative resistance to biodegradation [1]. Due to these properties, 1,4-dioxane is often present on the leading edge of a contaminant plume in groundwater and presents unique … Continue reading

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Monitoring Extracted and Treated Vapor Streams from a Thermal Remediation Site in Real-Time

Monitoring is an important component to any successful remediation project.  This point is explained further in Steffen Griepke’s previous blog post, “Why Data Management is the Most Underrated Aspect of Thermal Remediation Operations”. The more information you can collect, the better! Conventional portable monitoring instruments, such as a photoionization detector (PID) or flame ionization detector (FID) are relatively inexpensive and convenient, but are unable to detect certain constituents or quantify their presence, especially in hot, moist vapor streams.  This blog post provides an example of a technique TerraTherm is using for selected sites to overcome these limitations. TerraTherm’s FTIR system … Continue reading

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The High Value of Thermal Treatability Studies

Laboratory treatability studies are often one of the first logical steps when considering In Situ Thermal Remediation (ISTR) at a given site. In relation to the full-scale source remediation, treatability studies can be a wise and relatively low cost investment in a proof of concept. You might begin with a lab study if you have a unique mix of target compounds in the treatment area, or a challenging geological matrix. Or perhaps certain stakeholders need some extra “convincing” that ISTR will work at your site.  A study performed on actual site materials can quantitatively demonstrate the effectiveness of various thermal … Continue reading

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