Remediation of deep soil contamination using thermal vacuum wells

H. J. Vinegar, E. P. de Rouffignac, J. L. Menotti, J. M. Coles, G. L. Stegemeier, R. B. Sheldon, W. A. Edelstein

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


A joint Shell/General Electric field experiment is described in which a new in-situ thermal desorption soil remediation process (ISTD-Thermal Wells) is shown to remove high-boiling-point contaminants from deep soils. For this pilot, a sand pit was prepared with surrogate soil contaminants placed in a cylindrical region 9 feet in diameter and 7 feet deep. Twelve heater/vacuum wells were completed in a triangular array with a 7.25-foot well spacing. During the remediation, electrical resistance heating and vacuum were applied to the wells for a period of 70 days. Soil temperatures were monitored throughout the experiment, and soil samples were taken with a Geoprobe coring unit to observe the removal of contaminants. Energy and material balance data were also collected to improve understanding of process mechanisms. Temperatures above 500 °F were achieved in the interwell regions, and contaminants were completely removed despite large inflows of ground water that resulted from heavy rains. A second test at a PCB-contaminated site avoided most of the water influx problems and demonstrated effective heating to over 1000 °F and complete removal of the PCBs.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1997 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. Pi - San Antonio, TX, USA
Duration: 5 Oct 19978 Oct 1997


ConferenceProceedings of the 1997 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. Pi
CitySan Antonio, TX, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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