Tag Archives: Thermal Remediation

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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New Frontiers for In Situ Thermal Remediation: Using High Resolution Site Characterization to Improve Conceptual Site Model Accuracy and Lower Project Costs

As a Cascade Company, one of the major benefits TerraTherm is able to extend to our clients is a whole new suite of capabilities that we now have more readily available to us. These capabilities allow us to better define the target treatment zone (TTZ) and Conceptual Site Models (CSM), enabling us to minimize cost for treatment while ensuring that all of the source material is treated. This not only saves our clients money, but it also limits future liability associated with any missed source materials outside of the TTZ. One of the capabilities we have available to us is an … 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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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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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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Webinar Recordings: Vapor Treatment Optimization Approaches and Thermal Treatment – Challenges and Solutions

In case you missed the last two installments of TerraTherm’s educational webinar series, you can now watch the recorded presentations. Vapor Treatment Optimization Approaches: Safe and Effective Compliance Strategies Description: Presented by TerraTherm’s Engineering Manager, Steve McInerney, P.E., on May 28th, 2015, this webinar covers optimization strategies for treating vapors recovered during thermal remediation operations. The discussion focuses on a range of vapor-phase operating conditions encountered during both low temperature and high temperature thermal operations, and methods to limit total capital and operating cost impacts to a project. Safe and efficient vapor conditioning and treatment approaches that are routinely employed to ensure cost … Continue reading

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Effective Safety Management of ISTR Sites

There are numerous health and safety challenges that can be found on an In Situ Thermal Remediation (ISTR) site.  From performing health risk assessments for hazardous chemicals to identifying and correcting on-site physical hazards or working with and managing a variety of subcontractors, there is an extensive list of safety and regulatory concerns that need to be addressed. Managing these concerns can often appear to be a daunting task, but with a practical, risk-based safety management approach, ISTR can be performed safely, as well as effectively. At TerraTherm, our strong safety management system begins with a commitment to safe work … 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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