United States
                      Environmental Protection
                                                 Off ice of
                                                 Solid Waste and
                                                 Emergency Response
                                               March 1992
                      A  Citizen's  Guide To
                      Innovative Treatment
                      For Contaminated Soils, Sludges, Sediments and Debris
Technology Innovation Office	Technology Fact Sheet
  What Are Innovative
  Technologies?         1

  Why Use An
  Innovative Technology?  1

  What Types of
  Treatment Technologies
  Are In Use?           2

  How Is A Treatment
  Technology Selected
  For A Site?            3

  What Happens If A
  Technology Does Not
  Work?               3

  Where Are innovative
  Treatment Technologies
  Being Selected?        4

  Why Is EPA Encouraging
  The Use Of Innovative
  Treatment Technologies? 4

  For More information    4

What Are Innovative
Treatment Technologies?

Treatment technologies are processes
applied to the treatment of hazardous
waste or contaminated materials such as
soils, sludges, sediments and debris to
permanently alter their condition
through chemical, biological, or
physical means.  Technologies that have
been tested, selected or used for
treatment of hazardous waste or
contaminated materials but lack well-
documented cost and performance data
under a variety of operating conditions
are called innovative treatment

Treatment technologies are able to alter,
by destroying or changing,
contaminated materials so they are less
hazardous or are no longer hazardous.
This may be done by reducing the
amount of contaminated material, by
recovering or removing a component
that gives the material its hazardous
properties or by immobilizing the
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                                                             Why Use An Innovative

                                                             Treatment of contaminated sludges and
                                                             soils is a new field of technology that
                                                             has developed and grown with the
                                                             advent of legislation for contaminated
                                                             waste site clean-up in the past ten years.
                                                             Initially, the only way to eliminate a
                                                             hazardous waste from a particular
                                                             location was to move it somewhere else,
                                                             or place a cap on top, using land
                                                             disposal as the solution to the problem.
                                                             New landfill designs for disposal of
                                                             contaminated material were required to
                                                             meet new, stringent criteria under the
                                                             Resource Conservation and Recovery
                                                             Act, which provides protection to the
                                                             environment. With an increasing
                                                             amount of clean-up underway, a new
                                                             demand for more permanent and less
                                                             costly solutions for contaminated
                                                             materials developed. In response,
                                                             scientists and engineers began to
                                                             develop and use more treatment
                                                             technologies. Figure 1, on page 2,
                                                             provides an illustration of the evolution
                                                             of their thinking about how
                                                             contaminated materials should be
                         Why Use An Innovative Treatment Technology?

      Offers the potential for cost-effective, long-term solutions to hazardous waste clean-up activities.

      May provide Increased protection and more permanent solutions at contaminated sites.

      Provides alternatives to existing disposal methods such as land disposal or incineration.
 Produced by the
 Superfund Program
                                                                      Printed on Recycled Paper

                                                   Figure 1
                         Progress In The Methods For Handling Hazardous Wastes
As knowledge about the clean-up of contaminated sites
expands, scientists and engineers will be able to devise
approaches for more effective, permanent clean-ups.  '
Because the innovative treatment technologies that are being
used to treat hazardous waste lack a long history of full-
scale use, they do not have the extensive documentation
necessary to make innovative treatment technologies a
standard in the engineering/scientific community.  Although
innovative treatment technologies lack extensive
documentation, many of these technologies have been used
successfully at contaminated sites in the U.S., Canada and
Europe. Some of the technologies were developed in
response to the hazardous waste problem, others have been
adapted from other industrial uses.

As shown in Figure 2, below, developing and perfecting
treatment technologies is an on-going process. It begins
with a concept  an idea of how to treat a particular
hazardous waste. The concept usually undergoes a research
and evaluation process to prove it is feasible.  If the concept
is proven, often the next step is to undergo bench-scale
testing. During bench-scale testing a small-scale version of
the technology is built and tested in a laboratory. During
this testing it would be considered an emerging technology.
If the technology is successful during the bench-scale
testing, it is then demonstrated at small-scale levels at field
sites. If successful under the parameters of small-scale field
demonstrations, the technology will often be chosen for
remediation and used full-scale at contaminated waste sites.
The technology is continuously being applied at different
sites and evaluated so that it can constantly be refined.
It is only after a technology has been used at many sites
with varying conditions and the results fully documented,
that it achieves the status of an established technology.
Therefore, the majority of technologies in use today are
classified as innovative.
^                                                 .
    Are Innovative Treatment Technologies
    Always The Right Choice?

    Not every technology wilt b effective or
    appropriate at every contaminated waste site.
    Therefore, although Innovative treatment
    technologies offer the opportunity to apply
    different methods, science and engineering
    professionals must determine which technology
    is most appropriate at a given site.
\	s

What Types of Treatment Technologies
Are In Use?

Established technologies such as incineration and
solidification/stabilization have been the most widely used
at Superfund sites.  By 1990, however, 40 percent of the
treatment technologies selected and being used to treat soils,
sediments, sludges and debris were innovative treatment
technologies. The number of innovative treatment
technologies being used increases every year.

Table 1 on page 3 describes some of the most frequently
used innovative treatment technologies.
                                                   Figure 2
                                     Developing Treatment Technologies
 Research and

Emerging Innovative Established
Bench-Scale Testing
Field Chosen for Limited
Demonstration Remediation Full-Scale
Common Full-Scale

                                                    Table 1
                          Descriptions of Some Innovative Treatment Technologies
  Bloremediation: uses microorganisms, such as bacteria,
  to break down organic contaminants into harmless

  Solvent Extraction:  separates hazardous organic
  contaminants from oily-type wastes, soils, sludges, and
  sediments, reducing the volume of hazardous waste that
  must be treated.

  In Situ Soil Flushing: an in situ (in place) process that
  floods contaminated soils in the subsurface with a washing
  solution to flush out the contaminants.

  Soil Washing: uses water or a washing solution and
  mechanical processes to scrub excavated  soils and
  remove hazardous contaminants.
Thermal Desorption:  heats soil at relatively low tempera-
tures to vaporize contaminants with low boiling points.
Vaporized contaminants are then captured and removed for
further treatment or destruction.

Qlycolate Dehalogenatlon: uses a chemical reagent (a
substance used to react with and change another sub-
stance) to change the structure of certain contaminants,
thereby rendering them less hazardous.

Air Sparging: injects air into the saturated zone (that part
of subsurface that is soaked with groundwater) to remove
hazardous contaminants.
How Is A Treatment Technology Selected
For A Site?

The selection of a treatment technology for a Superfund site
follows detailed site studies where the site conditions and
contaminants are identified and assessed. This important
information is the basis for analyzing possible remedies for
the site problems based on evaluation criteria EPA
considers. Finally, EPA selects a chosen remedy for the site
based on the criteria and sets the remedy and clean-up

A treatability study is often conducted to assess a treatment
technology's potential for success. It is conducted either
when the treatment technology is being considered or after
selection of the remedy during remedial design, in order to
compile additional performance information.

There are three kinds of treatability studies.  The type
chosen depends on the information available about the site
and technology and the nature of information that is needed
to assess the use of the technology at the site. The quickest,
least expensive treatability study is the laboratory
screening. It is typically done in a laboratory using small
equipment such as beakers. It takes just a matter of days
and generally costs from $10,000 to $50,000. It can indicate
whether a technology has the potential to meet the clean-up
standards. Successful laboratory screening may lead to
more sophisticated treatability studies.

Another type of treatability study is the bench-scale study
which can provide greater performance and cost data than
laboratory screening.  Although sometimes performed in a
laboratory setting, it is on a larger scale than  laboratory
screening. Typically costs run between $50,000 and
$250,000 and the study is intended to determine if clean-up
goals can be met by the technology.
Pilot-scale treatability studies are usually conducted in the
field and require the installation of the treatment technology.
They are used to provide performance, cost and design
objectives for the treatment technology, not to conduct the
clean up. Due to the cost of this type of study, generally
more than $250,000, it is used almost exclusively to fine-
tune the design criteria following other treatability studies.
/'                 '                            \
    Does An innovative Treatment Technology
    Pose A Greater Health Risk?

    No, Innovative treatment technologies must
    meet the same clean-up levels imposed on
    established technologies.
\.	S

What Happens If A Technology Does
Not Work?

In spite of the best engineering design there is always a
possibility that a treatment technology, established or
innovative, may not work once it is in full-scale operation.
Thisas often because of unknown site conditions that could
not be anticipated under the conditions of the smaller-scale
studies done to support the technology's design. Natural
conditions are far more complex than laboratory conditions.

If a technology does not work initially, engineers and
scientists can work with the technology  to adapt its design
and, with time, correct the problems. In some rare cases the
technology may not be able to be used and an alternate
remedy may have to be designed and installed.

Hazardous waste clean-up is in its infancy.  Experience with
and increasing use of innovative treatment technologies will
further the development of better and more efficient ways to
clean up the environment.
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Where Are Innovative Treatment
Technologies Being Selected?

A number of the technologies that EPA has labeled
"innovative" are being used by industry for containing and
treating the hazardous wastes that they are currently
producing. Innovative technologies are also being selected
and used under many Federal and State clean-up programs,
including those for leaking underground tanks (primarily
petroleum), operating industries' past disposal areas under
the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and at
contaminated sites under Superfund. As more sites are
documented with their cost and performance data,
innovative treatment technologies will be increasingly
recognized for their effectiveness.

Why Is EPA Encouraging The Use Of
Innovative  Treatment Technologies?

The Environmental Protection Agency is encouraging its
scientists and engineers, as well as other agencies and
industries involved in selecting treatments, to make
innovative treatment technologies a priority consideration.
EPA believes that innovative treatment technologies should
be routinely considered as an option in addition to
established remedies whenever possible. When considering
factors such as increased protection and superior
performance, innovative treatment technologies have the
potential to be more cost effective, provide a better and
more efficient clean-up, and often be more acceptable to
surrounding communities than established treatment

X                                                "N
    How to EPA Supporting Trie Use Of
    Innovative Treatment Technologies?

    Th mission of EPA's Technology innovation
    Office (TiQ) is to increase tfM government's and
    Industry** application of Innovative treatment
    technologies to contaminated waste sites.  The
    Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation
    (SITE) program sponsor* field studies to obtain
    the information needed about an innovative
    treatment technology's effectiveness under
    varying conditions. The SITE program and TtO
    share the resulting information with Federal
    agencies, States, consulting engineering firms,
    responsible parties, technology developers, and
    the Investment community.
  For More information

  Additional Information regarding the use of innovative treatment technologies can be obtained by contacting the
  Technology Innovation Office (TIO) at (703) 308-8800 or writing to:

                       U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                       Technology Innovation Office
                       401 M Street, S.W. (OS 110W)
                       Washington, DC 20460

  Among the documents available from TIO Is the innovative Treatment Technologies: Semiannual Status Report.

  TIO has also produced a series of ten Citizen's Guides, including this one, on topics relating to Innovative treat-
  ment technologies. The others are on the topics of:

        Innovative Treatment Technologies for Contaminated Soils,
            Sludges, Sediments, and Debris, EPA/542/F-92/001
        Soli Washing, EPA/542/F-92/003
        Solvent Extraction, EPA/542/F-92/004
        Glycolate Dehalogenation, EPA/542/F-92/005
        Thermal Desorptlon, EPA/542/F-92/006
        In Situ soil Flushing, EPA/542/F-92/007
        Bloventlng, EPA/542/F-92/008
        Using indigenous and Exogenous Microorganisms in Btoremediatlon, EPA/542/F-92/009
        Air Sparging, EPA/542/F-9Z0010

  Copies of these fact sheets are available by calling (513) 569-7562 or writing to:

                       Center for Environmental Research Information
                       26 West Martin Luther King Drive
                       Cincinnati, OH 45268

  There may be a charge for some of these documents.
NOTICE: This fact sheet is intended solefy as general guidance and information. It is not intended, nor can it be relied upon, to create any rights enforceable by any
party in litigation with the United States. The Agency also reserves the right to change this guidance at any time without public notice.
                                                                          U.S. Government Priming Office: 1992- 648-080/60001