--> --> Renewable Energy in Environmental Remediation, by Ralph Nichols, Mark Phifer, Brian Riha, Ken Dixon, Jay Noonkester, and Mary Harris; #90052 (2006)

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Renewable Energy in Environmental Remediation

Ralph Nichols, Mark Phifer, Brian Riha, Ken Dixon, Jay Noonkester, and Mary Harris
Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, SC

The first stage of most remediation projects usually involves an aggressive action such as source removal, steam injection, electrical resistive heating, etc to remove the “source” term and leaving behind a residual source term that may extend into the groundwater. This action may be followed by a less aggressive remediation technology such as soil vapor extraction or “pump and treat” in the case of groundwater. Both of these stages reduces contaminant mass and thus flux of contaminant from the residual source zone to the point where it becomes mass transfer limited and only incremental gains are made toward site remediation. At this point ever increasing quantities of vapor or groundwater must be removed to remove the same amount of contaminant mass. Likewise ever increasing quantities of energy and time must be consumed to remove additional contaminant mass. This stage is the longest of the remediation stages and can last for decades. As a result new strategies and low energy technologies are needed to minimize the environmental impact and reduce cost at this final stage of remediation.

The Savannah River National Laboratory has developed several technologies for use in this stage of remediation. These technologies are GeoSiphon, BaroBall, PHOSTER, and the Microblower. All of the technologies are powered by renewable energy and have been tested and implemented at the Savannah River Site across a wide variety of problems ranging from removal of soil vapor contaminated chlorinated volatile organic compounds to treatment of groundwater contaminated with dissolved metals.