What is Soil Vapor Extraction? Ultimate Description in 2021
Soil Vapor Extraction is a remediation technology used to clean up contaminant vapors (VOCs volatile organic compounds) from below ground. SVE, also referred to as vacuum extraction, is a remediation method that uses vacuum pressure to remove contaminants from the soil through an extraction well.
The soil Vapor extraction technique uses an extraction weld to extract air and volatile gaseous contaminants from the soil layer. The removed contaminants are separated into contaminated vapor and water, and the contaminated vapor is remediated through a post-treatment process and is charged into the atmosphere.
SVE & Air Sparging
SVE extracts vapors from the soil above the water level by applying a vacuum to tug the vapors out. Air sparging, on the opposite hand, pumps air underground to assist extract vapors from groundwater and wet soil found beneath the water level . The addition of air makes the chemicals evaporate faster, which makes them easier to extract with another technology, like SVE.
A vacuum pump or blower pulls the contaminated air from extraction wells to treatment equipment at the surface ground. This consists of an air-water separator (to remove moisture, which interferes with treatment) and a catalytic oxidizer (incinerator) to oxide (destroy) the pollutant while clean air exits to the atmosphere. Alternatively to the incinerator, VOCs can be captured by activated carbons or similar filters.
Soil Vapor Extraction in the construction industry is a relatively new technology, and its risk can be managed to construct an effective remediation method.
SVE is used on contaminated sites to minimize the potential health risk of exposure from volatilized vapors. Soil vapor extraction systems vary significantly in size and complexity, depending on their application. Soil Vapor Extraction uses soil as an air barrier while removing chemicals.
This technology is a well-proven and relatively simple approach to contamination in the unsaturated zone, the soil above the water table. By this method, we literally suck volatile contaminants such as petrol and solvents out of the soil.
Once the contaminants are above ground, we separate the extracted vapor from the liquids. Naturally, we want to protect the air we breathe and the ground beneath our feet, so the extracted vapors are cleaned before discharge by passing through a granular activated carbon filter.
A single vacuum blower can provide suction to 1, 10, or even 50 extraction wells.
SVE systems are designed to remove contaminated air from the ground and transport it through a piping system to an exhaust stack where the air can be vented to the atmosphere. Soil Vapor Extraction systems are most often used in industrial settings, such as manufacturing facilities, chemical processing plants, municipal sewer lines, and landfills.
How Might It Affect Me?
Area neighborhoods may experience increased vehicular traffic because the equipment for SVE or air sparging is delivered and later removed. Installation of the systems involves the utilization of drilling rigs and sometimes other heavy machinery to put in wells, blowers, and treatment equipment. Sheds or larger buildings could also be built to deal with the treatment systems, keeping any noise to a minimum. Workers will visit these systems regularly to make sure they’re working.
Why Use Soil Vapor Extraction And Air Sparging?
SVE and air sparging are efficient ways to urge obviate VOCs above and below the water level. Both methods can help close up contamination under buildings and cause little disruption to nearby activities when fully operational. SVE and air sparging are used or selected to be used at approximately 285 and 80 Superfund sites, respectively.
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