Tag Archives: ISTR Treatment Equipment

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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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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Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) Monitoring for Estimating Mass Removed

Since 2000, TerraTherm has removed over three million pounds of organic contaminants from the sites we have treated. Many of these sites had yielded too much mass to economically use granular activated carbon as the vapor treatment method. Therefore, we often use thermal oxidizers, using gas and the fuel value of the contaminants to treat the vapors at temperatures of 1500°F (816°C) or higher. The National Fire Protection Agency has mandated continuous monitoring of vapors entering oxidizers when those vapors are expected to be over the 25% Lower Explosive Limit (LEL). Additionally, thermal oxidizers generally have a safe upper operable … Continue reading

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Moving Environmental Equipment – Logistics Done the Right Way at TerraTherm

A prodigious level of activity, intense excitement, as well as a bit of angst can precede the start of any big project. We’ve recently been experiencing all of that at TerraTherm! We reached the point in the schedule where two of our projects required the treatment equipment to be delivered almost simultaneously. Ten tractor-trailer loads of remediation equipment needed to be moved to our two, separate New England sites in the same month. All told, nearly six million dollars’ worth of equipment had to be staged, loaded, and transported to both locations in a matter of two weeks. One of … Continue reading

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Operating at an In Situ Thermal Remediation Site

Seeing a TerraTherm site operate is an extraordinary thing. The view of the stack, faithfully discharging clean water vapor into the air, the metallic chirping of In Situ Thermal Desorption (ISTD) heaters oscillating in their well casings, and the low frequency humming of the treatment equipment truly is a unique experience. The principals of subsurface heating with Thermal Conductive Heating (TCH) are simple, but to actually implement this aggressive source zone treatment technology is another thing altogether. It is impressive to think about how quickly a source area can be treated, when something like 15 years ago, the only other … Continue reading

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Eight Misconceptions about Thermal Conduction Heating (TCH) and Electrical Resistance Heating (ERH)

The Internet can be a tricky place. Sometimes when researching, it can become difficult to weed through the piles of information. Through some research of my own, I’ve come to find that there exist a few common misconceptions about thermal technologies. Many companies only practice one method of thermal heating, so it is understandable that misconceptions about another technology arise. TerraTherm on the other hand practices all three of the most accepted and mainstream methods of heating the subsurface: Thermal Conductive Heating (TCH), Electrical Resistance Heating (ERH), and Steam Enhanced Extraction (SEE). This post is meant to clarify misconceptions between … 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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In-Pile Thermal Desorption® (IPTD®) Animation at Danang Airport, Vietnam

In February 2013, the U.S. Agency for International Development awarded a $37M contract to TerraTherm to carry out thermal remediation of dioxin at Vietnam’s Danang Airport. TerraTherm’s remediation technology is playing a vital role in the U.S.-funded project’s efforts to clean up dioxin contamination in areas of Danang airport where herbicides were stored and handled during the U.S.-Vietnam War. USAID is working in close coordination with the Government of Vietnam and other contractors to implement this ongoing project through 2016. USAID selected TerraTherm’s In-Pile Thermal Desorption® (IPTD®) technology for treatment of approximately 73,000 cubic meters (95,000 cubic yards) of soil and sediment … Continue reading

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Where Did In Situ Thermal Remediation (ISTR) Methods Come From?

Looking at a built-up thermal site with heaters, wells, manifold piping, process gear, and the advanced monitoring systems which can be accessed from anywhere in the world, it can be tempting to wonder how this all came about…  Hundreds of engineering details, program logic controlling automatic operation of valves, heating systems, and treatment equipment.  Yet, the systems run overnight and on weekends, with nobody there to baby-sit them.   Most of the features of a modern In Situ Thermal Remediation (ISTR) site have evolved over a period of less than 25 years.  I will try to explain the evolution here. Chemicals … Continue reading

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