Zapping Hazwastes

by Harsh Dev, Sr. Engr.; IT Research Institute, Chemistry Building, 10 W. 35th St., Chicago, IL 60616,
Douglas Downey, Res. Engr.; U.S. Air Force Engineering and Services Center, Tyndall AFB, Tyndall, FL 32403-6000,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1988, Vol. 58, Issue 8, Pg. 43-45

Document Type: Feature article


Electromagnetic energy, applied in situ, successfully removes contaminants entrapped in soil by vaporizing them. Recent test using radio frequency have successfully removed up to 99% of the hazardous chemicals at an Air Force site. Estimated cost is less than $100 per cu yd, about 1/4th the cost of excavation and incineration. Heating concept originally designed for removing resources from oil shale. Engineers at the Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute have refined this method for hazardous wastes. System uses electrodes implanted into vertical holes drilled into the soil. Heat mechanism is similar to microwave oven—molecular agitation instead of thermal conduction.

Subject Headings: Occupational safety | Hazardous wastes | Field tests | Soil gas | Soil pollution | Chemicals | Excavation | Incineration

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