During the week of Nov. 16, 2015, the USACE Louisville District, in cooperation with Endpoint, Inc., and the Alliant Corporation, successfully implemented a pilot study of a Vapor Energy Generator (VEG) to treat soils contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. The pilot study was conducted at the Atlas Scrap Yard site at Camp Ravenna in northeastern Ohio in support of the Installation Restoration Program (IRP). The goal of the pilot study was to apply the VEG on approximately 100 cubic yards of PAH-impacted soil to test its effectiveness and viability as a full-scale remedial alternative for the Atlas Scrap Yard.
The VEG system applies superheated steam to strip chemical contaminants from soils or other media. Chemicals such as hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and PAHs are then captured in the filtration system and converted into a synthetic fuel that the VEG system uses to continue operation. This waste-to-energy conversion allows the VEG system to be fueled by the chemical contaminants captured from the media it is treating, resulting in highly-efficient, low-energy consuming operation.
In 2014, the VEG system was used to treat chlorinated VOCs at a high profile site at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, Mississippi. This successful application earned the project a nomination for the 2014 Secretary of the Army Environmental Award.