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Technical Reports

Clayey Soil Contaminated with TPH Purification Techniques
Category Soil/Subterranean Water
Source Environmental Management Research Center


A variety of techniques for minimizing the impact of oil contaminants on the soil and underwater have been developed and applied. Some of the popular techniques include thermal treatment, stabilization and reclamation of the soil in contaminated areas after excavation. Such techniques, however, have its limitations due to potential risks of spreading contaminants and costly restoration work. As a result, treating contaminants directly in the affected areas has been invented and when it comes to treating oil soaked in soil, the Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE) technique has been widely used largely because of its practical and economical advantages. Problems of the SVE, however, are the treatment of soil with a very low oil concentration is difficult and that the secondary treatment of extracted gas should be followed. That is because the level of concentration in the contaminated soil tends to increase over time. And it is also difficult to be applied to soil with a high saturation and a large amount of underground water, which consequently led to the development of a new technique called bioventing, adjustable to the degree of contamination and kinds of pollutants. But it takes longer time to recover soil. More recently, new methods such as injection of oxidizers and soil flushing have developed and applied, but Korea so far has no techniques with approved effectiveness. Conventional ways such as pump-and-treat have generally been used for the treatment of underground water contaminated with oil and the development of techniques aimed at enhancing restoration effect, including bioremediation and natural attenuation are currently under way. 

   This is a technique that applies a thermal and physical treatment to volatile oil contaminants under ground in a way that 50 to 100 ℃ of heat is applied to the affected soil through electrodes and nozzles on direct boring rods spray washing solutions and oxidizer at 200kg/cm3 of high pressure jet stream. In this way, the technique effectively cleans contaminants from the clayey soils without having to excavate. 

   Electricity fed to contaminated soils resulted in a rapid increase in temperature, which allowed the application of the direct boring rods to maximize oxidation and degradation. And the washing solutions and oxidizers played a role in maintaining the moisture content of soils, raising the speed of temperature rise during electric resistance, which was an indicator of synergies among all applied techniques. Applying these processes 3 times for 120 days showed a 80% reduction of TPH in clayey soils. 



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