Webinar: In-Pile Thermal Desorption® (IPTD®) for Treatment of POPs-Contaminated Soil and Sediment

In case you missed our last installment of “Inside In Situ Thermal Remediation”, TerraTherm’s informational webinar series, you can find a recorded version here:

“In-Pile Thermal Desorption® (IPTD®) for Treatment of POPs-Contaminated Soil and Sediment”

Presented by TerraTherm’s Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Ralph S. Baker, Ph.D., this webinar was recorded on September 11th, 2014.


Soil or sediment contaminated with Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) including PCBs, PAHs, organohaloginated pesticides, Dioxins and Furans and other recalcitrant organics, as well as mercury can be treated effectively at elevated temperatures. By contrast, conventional treatment typically requires excavation and transportation of the soil to the treatment facility, involving heavy truck traffic, dust, noise, and risk of exposure.

In-Pile Thermal Desorption® (IPTD®), when conducted on-site, eliminates the transportation of the soil/sediment to a treatment facility. The soil/sediment is treated within a pile structure, which can be either fixed or mobile. By utilizing Thermal Conduction Heating (TCH), powered by electricity, along with vacuum extraction, the POPs are safely vaporized, desorbed, and/or destroyed in the heated soil. The extracted vapors are treated to meet the applicable standards using a vapor/liquid treatment system.

Topics presented in this webinar include:

  • How In Situ Thermal Desorption (ISTD), which is very similar to IPTD®, has been used at full-scale to treat POPs at numerous well-documented sites.
  • How IPTD® soil/sediment treatment is more sustainable than conventional incineration, thermal desorption or landfilling.
  • Details from a rigorous field-scale demonstration of IPTD® of dioxin-contaminated soil completed in Japan, under the sponsorship of the Japan Ministry of the Environment. The IPTD® process was demonstrated to successfully treat the soils to the required standards over a 28 day operations period, during which the soil was heated to 325°C. Off-gases were treated using thermal oxidation and activated carbon adsorption, meeting the Japanese air emissions standard of <0.1 ng-TEQ/m3N.
  • Details of a full-scale IPTD® project contract TerraTherm was awarded in early 2013 by USAID to implement the technology for cleanup of 77,000 m3 of Agent Orange/dioxin contaminated soil/sediment at the Danang Airport in Vietnam.
  • Finally, a version of IPTD® well-suited to small- and medium-scale sites and fixed treatment facilities will be introduced.

About Dr. Ralph Baker: 

Ralph S. Baker, Ph.D. is the Chairman and Chief Scientist of TerraTherm, Inc., a thermal remediation firm located in Gardner, Massachusetts. A Certified Soil Scientist with an M.S. in soil chemistry and a Ph.D. in soil physics, he has 35 years’ experience in the evaluation, design and implementation of technologies for in-situ and on-site treatment of wastes in soil and groundwater. Dr. Baker has served as an expert on a wide range of innovative physical, chemical and biological treatment technologies as a consultant to industry and government. Over the past 15 years and particularly since co-founding TerraTherm, Inc. in 2000, Dr. Baker has focused his attention on application of in-situ and ex-situ thermal remediation of contaminated soils via simultaneous application of heat by thermal conduction and vacuum. He has authored over 70 scientific publications on in-situ/on-site remediation and soil physics.

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For more webinar recordings visit: Inside In Situ Thermal Remediation Webinar Series

About Nate Bierschenk

Nate Bierschenk began working at TerraTherm, Inc. in 2012 as a Marketing Assistant. Since then, Nate has grown into a more technical role and is currently Technical Sales Specialist servicing the Southeast. In addition, Nate is the service line sales lead for TerraTherm's new on-site thermal offering, the Heated-Box or HB1100 approach.
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