Final Report: Field Pilot Test of In-Situ Ultrasonic Enhancement Coupled With Soil Fracturing to Detoxify Contaminated Soil in Cooperation with McLaren/Hart Environmental Engineers at the Hillsborough, NJ Site

EPA Grant Number: R825511C029
Subproject: this is subproject number 029 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825511
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (1989) - Northeast HSRC
Center Director: Sidhu, Sukh S.
Title: Field Pilot Test of In-Situ Ultrasonic Enhancement Coupled With Soil Fracturing to Detoxify Contaminated Soil in Cooperation with McLaren/Hart Environmental Engineers at the Hillsborough, NJ Site
Investigators: Hanesian, Deran , Perna, Angelo , Schuring, John
Institution: New Jersey Institute of Technology
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 15, 1997 through January 14, 1998
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (1989) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Substance Research Centers , Land and Waste Management


The overall objective of the present study is to use sonic energy provided by pneumatic transducers coupled with soil fracturing to enhance the remediation of volatile organic contaminants in-situ from soil and rock in the vadose zone. During the past few years, laboratory tests with a siren and a whistle have shown an enhancement for in-situ soil remediation. The whistle, in particular, has demonstrated a contaminant mass removal rate of 1000 percent more than the control. In addition, the time required to reduce an initial contaminant weight of eleven pounds in the bed to one pound was reduced by a factor of at least 7 with the whistle. These results suggest that remediation time can be reduced leading to substantial savings in operational costs. In addition, it is believed that the proposed in-situ sonic process will be an effective "polishing" technique for removal of residual contamination not accessible with current in-situ techniques and enable site owners to reach regulatory levels at difficult sites, in-situ.

The principal objective of the current study is to scale up the laboratory versions of the pneumatic transducers to full pilot scale and to perform definitive field tests. McLaren/Hart Environmental Engineers have agreed to cooperate in field testing of a site in Hillsborough, NJ containing trichloroethylene. The principal deliverable of this project will be the development of a full scale, operational, low cost, in-situ, sonic detoxification process. This study will provide the "leap" from bench scale to field scale which is a crucial step in technology development, training, and transfer.

In addition to the field tests, the laboratory studies will continue with the siren to investigate the effect of sonic frequency on the removal rate of the decontaminants.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

Rationale: Soil fracturing technologies, both pneumatic and hydraulic, coupled with Vapor Extraction have enhanced the remediation of soil contaminated with volatile organic compounds. Furthermore, ultrasound technology has been proven in a variety of industrial applications for enhancing both liquid phase and vapor phase reactions and in cleaning and drying operations. When remediating contaminated soil and groundwater at industrial sites, an in-situ approach is preferred. It is the least costly, and it also minimizes potential contaminant exposure routes. The effectiveness of in-situ remediation technologies is highly dependent on the transport characteristics of the geologic formation under treatment. In formations such as sand and gravel with high permeabilities, in-situ treatment can be highly successful. However, in-situ remediation in geologic formations containing silt, clay, or tight bedrock is more difficult due to the characteristics of low permeability and high adsorption potential of these geologic materials.

Thus, soil fracturing coupled with focused sonic energy and vapor extraction can enhance remediation of contaminated soil and can be a "polishing" technique to enable site owners to reach regulatory levels at difficult sites in-situ.

Approach: A laboratory prototype of the ultrasonic siren device was designed and constructed at NJIT, and is currently being utilized in bench scale tests. With some modification, this device can be converted into field use for the proposed pilot test. In addition, a second sonic device based on the Hartman whistle with no moving parts has been developed for bench scale and field test as an alternate design. The siren can operate at variable frequency, and is currently being tested in the laboratory to measure the effect of sonic frequency on removal rate of the contaminants. A laboratory prototype of the stem jet whistle was designed and constructed at Applied Ultrasonic Inc., Bethel, CT., and is currently being utilized in bench scale tests and in the field demonstration test. The whistle proved superior to the siren in our laboratory tests because it operated at a higher sound intensity, had no moving parts, and the sound energy is more focused. The initial field studies were, therefore, made using the whistle.

Status: Comparative preliminary studies with both siren and whistle were completed. A study has been completed on the effect of sonic frequency on contaminate removal rate. The exploratory field studies at the Derelco site in Hillsborough, NJ in cooperation with McLaren/Hart Environmental Engineers have been completed. Preparation for further field studies is underway.

Technology Transfer And Outreach Plan: An important NHSRC theme directly addressed by this project is field demonstration and application for training and technology transfer. The proper transition from the laboratory to the field is a critical step for any innovative technology, and this project will enhance the transition for the new in-situ sonic system, which is currently in progress. From the inception of this project, the device has been purposely tailored for eventual field use by keeping the design simple, yet durable. The sonic whistle is pneumatically powered and the only required support equipment is a compressed air source and a control system. There are no moving parts. The very same air which operates the device can be also be used to strip the trichloroethylene from the formation. In essence, the system accesses the contaminant species remotely, which can then either be extracted or treated in place. The siren when used, can be operated either electrically with a belt and pulley system used to increase the revolutions per minute, or with a pneumatic motor.

Currently, the technology transfer/training program proposed is a cooperative effort with McLaren/Hart Environmental Engineers at their current remediation site at Hillsborough, NJ. They are, at present, using vapor extraction as a remediation method for the site contaminated with trichloroethylene. During the past year, we have been cooperating with McLaren/Hart to apply our sonic enhancement technique at this site, and have completed our exploratory tests in a demonstration of the benefits of the sonic whistle in the field at this site coupled with soil fracturing.

The principal deliverable of this project will be the development of a full-scale, operational in-situ sonic process. Coupled with fracturing for soil remediation, performance data from an actual field test with the system will be evaluated and detailed in a final report. The study will provide the "leap" from bench-scale to field-scale which is a crucial step in technology development, training, and transfer. It is expected that enhanced sonic remediation will be a major contribution from this NHSRC to the industrial sector.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 6 publications for this subproject

Supplemental Keywords:

In Situ Treatment, Ultrasonic, Soil Fracturing, Pneumatic Fracturing., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Geographic Area, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Environmental Chemistry, Remediation, State, Monitoring/Modeling, Analytical Chemistry, Hazardous Waste, Environmental Monitoring, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, field portable monitoring, wastewater, in situ remediation, Chromium, in situ sensor, in situ ultrasonic enhancement, groundwater monitoring, soil fracturing, New Jersey (NJ), cadmium, industrial effluents, electrochemical sensor, arsenic, electrochemical treatment, groundwater, heavy metals

Main Center Abstract and Reports:

R825511    HSRC (1989) - Northeast HSRC

Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
R825511C001 Development of Mechanisms and Kinetic Models on Formation of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins and Dibenzofurans from Aromatic Precursors
R825511C002 Real-Time Monitoring and Control of Emissions from Stationary Combustors and Incinerators
R825511C003 Development of Sampling Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
R825511C004 Investigation into the Effectiveness of DNAPL Remediation Strategies in Fractured Media
R825511C005 Advanced Leak Detection and Location Research: Extending the SERDP-funded Technical Base
R825511C006 Three-Dimensional Geostatistical Site Characterization with Updating
R825511C007 Anaerobic Biodegradation of PAHs in Soils and Dredged Sediments: Characterizing, Monitoring and Promoting Remediation
R825511C008 Substrate Accelerated Death and Extended Lag Phases as Causes of the Recalcitrance of Halogenated Compounds in Anoxic Environments
R825511C009 Fate and Transport of Nonionic Surfactants
R825511C010 In Situ Degradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons and PAHs in Contaminated Salt Marsh Sediments
R825511C011 Design and Operation of Surfactant-Enhanced Bioslurry Reactors
R825511C012 Experimental Study of Overland Transport of Cryptosporidium parvum Oocysts
R825511C013 Development of a Framework for Evaluation of Leaching from Solid Waste
R825511C014 Use of a New Leaching Test Framework for Evaluating Alternative Treatment Processes for Mercury Contaminated Mixed Waste (Hazardous and Radioactive)
R825511C015 Field Pilot Test of In Situ Ultrasonic Enhancement Coupled With Soil Fracturing to Detoxify Contaminated Soil
R825511C016 Development of Sampling Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
R825511C017 Field Demonstration of the Use of Reactive Zero-Valence Iron Powder to Treat Source Zone Sites Impacted by Halogenated Volatile Organic Chemicals
R825511C018 Technology Transfer of Continuous Non-Methane Organic Carbon (C-NMOC) Analyzer
R825511C019 Field Sampling and Treatability Study for In-Situ Remediation of PCB's and Leachable Lead with Iron Powder
R825511C020 Experimental and Modeling Studies of Chlorocarbon Incineration, PIC Formation, and Emissions Control
R825511C021 Experimental Studies and Numerical Modeling of Turbulent Combustion During Thermal Treatment of Hazardous Wastes: Applied Research for the Generation of Design and Diagnostic Tools
R825511C022 Electrochemical Sensor for Heavy Metals in Groundwater - Phase IV
R825511C023 Novel Molecular Tools for Monitoring In-Situ Bioremediation
R825511C024 Surfactant-Enhanced Bioremediation of Soils in the Presence of an Organic Phase
R825511C025 Enhanced Microbial Dechlorination of PCBs and Dioxins in Contaminated Dredge Spoils
R825511C026 Toward A Risk-Based Model for Bioremediation of Multicomponent NAPL Contaminants
R825511C027 Removal and Recovery of VOCs and Oils from Surfactant-Flushed Recovered Water by Membrane Permeation
R825511C029 Field Pilot Test of In-Situ Ultrasonic Enhancement Coupled With Soil Fracturing to Detoxify Contaminated Soil in Cooperation with McLaren/Hart Environmental Engineers at the Hillsborough, NJ Site
R825511C030 In-Situ Field Test of Electroremediation of a Chromate-Contaminated Site in Hudson County, New Jersey
R825511C031 Electrokinetic Removal of Heavy Metals and Mixed Hazardous Wastes from Partially and Fully Saturated Soils
R825511C032 Effects of Clay Charge and Confining Stresses on Soil Remediation by Electroosmosis
R825511C033 Assessment of Surfactant Enhanced Bioremediation for Soils/Aquifers Containing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
R825511C034 In-Situ Bioremediation of Organic Compounds: Coupling of Mass Transfer and Biodegradation
R825511C035 Investigation into the Effectiveness of DNAPL Remediation Strategies in Fractured Media
R825511C036 Field Pilot Scale Demonstration of Trench Bio-Sparge: An In-Situ Groundwater Treatment Technology
R825511C037 In-Situ Reductive Dehalogenation of Aliphatic Compounds by Fermentative Heterotrophic Bacteria
R825511C038 The Effect of Carbon-Nitrogen Ratios on Bacterial Transport and Biodegradation Rates In Soils
R825511C039 Ultrasonic Enhancement of Soil Fracturing Technologies for In-Situ Detoxification of Contaminated Soil
R825511C040 Full Field Demonstration of Integrated Pneumatic Fracturing and In-Situ Bioremediation
R825511C041 Determination of Adsorption and Desorption Behavior of Petroleum Products on Soils
R825511C042 Evaluation of the Potential for Complete Bioremediation of NAPL-Contaminated Soils Containing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
R825511C043 Characterization of Subsurface NAPL Distributions at Heterogeneous Field Sites
R825511C044 Development of a Thermal Desorption Gas Chromatograph/Microwave Induced Plasma/Mass Spectrometer (TDGC/MIP/MS) for On-site Analysis of Organic and Metal Contaminants
R825511C045 Using Trainable Networks for a Three-dimensional Characterization of Subsurface Contamination
R825511C046 Application of Advanced Waste Characterization to Soil Washing and Treatment
R825511C047 Electrochemical Sensor for Heavy Metals in Groundwater Phase III
R825511C048 Improved Luminescence Sensors for Oxygen Measurement
R825511C049 Preconcentration, Speciation and Determination of Dissolved Heavy Metals in Natural Waters, using Ion Exchange and Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry
R825511C050 Experimental and Modeling Studies of Chlorocarbon Incineration and PIC Formation
R825511C051 PIC Emission Minimization: Fundamentals and Applications
R825511C052 Project Title: Development of a Two Stage, Pulse Combustion, VOC Destruction Technology
R825511C053 Development of Sampling Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
R825511C054 FTIR Analysis of Gaseous Products from Hazardous Waste Combustion
R825511C055 Toxic Metals Volatilization for Waste Separation and Real-time Metals Analyses
R825511C056 Mixed Metal Removal and Recovery by Hollow Fiber Membrane-Based Extractive Adsorber
R825511C057 Removal of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from Contaminated Groundwater and Soils by Pervaporation
R825511C058 Simultaneous SO2/NO Removal/Recovery by Hollow Fiber Membrane
R825511C059 Superfund Sites and Mineral Industries Method
R825511C060 Soil Washing of Mixed Organics/Metal Contamination
R825511C061 Removal of Cesium, Strontium, Americium, Technetium and Plutonium from Radioactive Wastewater
R825511C062 Development of a Method for Removal of Nonvolatile Organic Materials from Soil using Flotation
R825511C063 Recovery of Evaporative Fuel Losses by Vapor Permeation Membranes
R825511C064 Surfactant Selection Protocol for Ex Situ Soil Washing
R825511C065 Biofiltration for the Control of Toxic Industrial VOCs Emissions
R825511C066 Catalytic Oxidation of Volatile Organic Compounds in Water
R825511C067 Soil Washing for Remediating Metal Contaminated Soils
R825511C068 Aqueous Absorption and Kinetics of NO by Strong Oxidizing Agents
R825511C069 Remediation of Dredging Spoils
R825511C070 Freeze Concentration for Zero-Effluent Processes
R825511C071 Life Cycle/Pollution Prevention Response to Executive Order 12856
R825511C072 Faster Better, Cheaper Hazardous Waste Site Characterization and Cleanup: an Adaptive Sampling and Analysis Strategy Employing Dynamic Workplans
R825511C073 Development of a Comprehensive Computer Model for the Pneumatic Fracturing Process
R825511C074 Technology Demonstration and Validation of CFAST Field Analytical Instrumentation for Use in Hazardous Waste Site Characterization, Clean-up and Monitoring
R825511C075 XFLOW: Training Software Simulating Contaminant Site Characterization and Remediation