Remediation

Contact Our Remediation Department

 

Applying proven technologies and best management practices to the complex remediation needs associated with oil and gas production, storage and transfer . . .

 

The remediation division at HRL Compliance Solutions, Inc. provides design, oversight, construction, application, and scientific expertise and services for the remediation of soil, surface water and groundwater. Our goal is to help our clients address environmental concerns by bringing them into compliance with local, state and federal regulations. Our expertise with permitting, spill response, waste management, and remedial design and maintenance facilitates corrective action and project closure in a timely and effective manner.

HRL began its environmental remediation program in 2008 by treating pits and spills as part of its waste management program. In 2011, HRL began remediating larger, more complex projects for oil and gas companies. In 2012, the remediation program accelerated its success by successfully remediating several sites for oil and gas clients in Colorado.

HRL also managed and provided oversight for several subcontractor remediation projects for clients using alternative remediation technologies, including the use of earthworms to remediate glycol in soil. It is the goal and objective of HRL to assist companies with their remediation needs.

Instead of hauling waste to landfills, HRL offers established and high performance technologies that reduce the liability and costs associated with the remediation of oil and gas waste. Saving money and producing the most favorable outcome for our clients is our chief goal and objective.

 

Bioremediation

HRL personnel have been successfully completing bioremediation projects for industry, commercial properties and the oil and gas industry since 1991.

HRL manages and/or performs the following remedial processes and methods:

  • Bioremediation
  • Air Stripping
  • Air Sparging
  • Dual Phase Extraction
  • Vapor Extraction
  • Low Temperature Thermal Extraction
  • Chemical Oxidation
  • Excavation and disposal

There are many approaches being utilized for bioremediation in the oil and gas industry. Unfortunately, many methods are overstated and oversimplified. The oil and gas community has been inundated with many forms of “spray and walk away” products with a “one size fits all” approach, only to be haunted by the ineffectiveness of these quick fix products.

At HRL we avoid such technologies and rely on scientifically proven and thoroughly researched biological remediation technologies. We only utilize well tested and established chemical agents, microbial consortiums and soil conditioners to target petroleum hydrocarbons in soil and groundwater. Whether the application is in-situ or ex-situ, HRL has the expertise, products and best management practices to remediate soil and groundwater that has been impacted by petroleum hydrocarbons.

HRL Bioremediation Application

Our professional staff has been involved with the science of bioremediation since 1991. In that time, HRL personnel have been able to successfully bioremediate the following pollutants and chemical constituents:

  • Crude oil
  • Gas condensate
  • Production water
  • Frac sand
  • Drill cuttings
  • Motor oil
  • Compressor engine oil
  • Gasoline
  • Diesel Fuel
  • BTEX
  • Pesticides
  • Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH’s)
  • Glycol
  • Sugars and syrups
  • Sewage solids
  • ​Animal wastes
  • PCP’s
  • PCB’s
  • Ink and stains

These constituents are remediated using variable bioremediation methods such as landfarming, bioventing, biopiles, ​enhanced aerobic bioremediation, probiotic bioremediation, groundwater bioremediation, biosparging, landfarming and natural attenuation.
 

Best Available Technology

In most cases biological remediation has proven to be a viable and competitive best available technology for addressing the remediation of soil and groundwater impacted by petroleum hydrocarbons and other associated chemicals. However, success can only occur if the project is managed properly. Time requirements for successful bioremediation vary from site to site based upon many physical, logistical, chemical, biological, geological and managerial factors. At HRL we thoroughly investigate many parameters to properly apply biological remediation technology.

TPH and Time Management

HRL has the technology and management personnel to remediate soil quickly and efficiently. The parameter which dictates the timely remediation of petroleum impacted soil is the concentration of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH), soil conditions and other biologically sustaining parameters. TPH is further delineated as Gasoline Range Organics (GRO), Diesel Range Organics (DRO), and Oil Range Organics (ORO). Though not considered a constituent of TPH, recalcitrant hydrocarbons like Poly-Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH’s) are often identified in oil and gas production and storage site locations.

PAH’s are typically difficult to treat unless the correct technology is used to tackle the complex ring structures of the PAH compounds. HRL knows how to treat PAH’s in soil, drill cuttings and Frac sands. ORO constituents can be difficult to remediate as the hydrocarbon chains are more resistant to biological degradation. DRO and GRO are similar, but GRO constituents can be readily remediated through proper soil management practices (aeration procedures).

Benzene, toluene, ethyl-benzene and xylenes (BTEX) are generally associated with light end hydrocarbons. BTEX can be a challenge if the soil is not properly managed, but generally remediate quickly and efficiently. Even in groundwater BTEX can be successfully remediated, but still requires time to remediate based on the total concentrations of each BTEX constituent.

Time Frame for Ex-Situ Soil Biological Remediation (Landfarm Setup)*

GRO and BTEX (Typical light end Gas Condensate)

  • TPH Concentration 500 – 1,500 ppm / 30 – 60 Days 30%
  • TPH Concentration 1,500 – 2,500 ppm / 50 to 90 Days 45%
  • TPH Concentration 2,500 – 3,500 ppm / 65 to 100 Days 55%
  • TPH Concentration 3,500 – 5,000 ppm / 75 to 120 Days 65%
  • TPH Concentration 5,000 – 10,000 ppm / 100 to 150 Days 75%
  • TPH Concentration 10,000 to 120,000 ppm / 180+ Days 85%

* Time for remediation based upon HCSI design and management parameters.

DRO (Typical mid to light end Gas Condensate)

  • TPH Concentration 500 – 1,500 ppm / 60 to 90 Days 30%
  • TPH Concentration 1,500 – 2,500 ppm / 70 to 120 Days 45%
  • TPH Concentration 2,500 – 3,500 ppm / 90 to 150 Days 55%
  • TPH Concentration 3,500 – 5,000 ppm / 120 to 180 Days 65%
  • TPH Concentration 5,000 – 10,000 ppm / 150 to 210 Days 75%
  • TPH Concentration 10,000 to 120,000 ppm / 180+ Days 85%

Typical Time Frame for In-Situ Biological Remediation

Time frames for in-situ bioremediation vary based on many parameters, both known and unknown. Each site considered for in-situ remediation, whether it be an open field or around tanks and underground pipes, will be thoroughly investigated using historical information, spill information and site investigation data which includes soil boring and analytical data.

There is no specific time frame for in-situ remediation. However, much of the success depends on the site conditions, current operations at the site, and whether or not the client will allow an aggressive and patient approach for remediation to occur. The most limiting factor of in-situ remediation is the lack of patience and the lack of support from a client’s perspective.

In-situ remediation typically requires six to twelve months at a minimum and up to several years on more difficult projects. In the end, in-situ remediation is cheaper and more effective than “dig and haul” operations for deep spill conditions that require extensive excavation and hauling of soil to disposal facilities.

 

Alternative Remediation Technologies

Though Bioremediation is often the best method for remediation of soil and water in many oil and gas operations, other alternative remediation technologies recommended by the US EPA may often be utilized to efficiently remediate a site impacted by oil and gas products. HRL personnel can manage various remediation processes and methods.

 

Air Stripper Technology

​Air strippers are used to remove VOCs and other harmful contaminants from a water stream that is pumped through the air stripper. Water is aerated as it travels longitudinally from end to end and vertically from tray to tray until it reaches the collection sump where it is pumped out for disposal or further treatment. HRL personnel can manage the installation, operation and monitoring of an air stripper operation. Engineers are typically involved to determine the height and time required to successfully remove the VOCs from the stream of water passing through a packed column or tank.

 Air Sparging

​”Air sparging is an in-situ remedial technology that reduces concentrations of volatile constituents in petroleum products that are adsorbed to soils and dissolved in groundwater. This technology, which is also known as “in-situ air stripping” and “in-situ volatilization,” involves the injection of contaminant-free air into the subsurface saturated zone, enabling a phase transfer of hydrocarbons from a dissolved state to a vapor phase. The air is then vented through the unsaturated zone.”

“Air sparging is most often used together with soil vapor extraction (SVE), but it can also be used with other remedial technologies. When air sparging (AS) is combined with SVE, the SVE system creates a negative pressure in the unsaturated zone through a series of extraction wells to control the vapor plume migration. This combined system is called AS/SVE” (1).

Soil Vapor Extraction

“​Soil vapor extraction (SVE), also known as “soil venting” or “vacuum extraction”, is an in situ remedial technology that reduces concentrations of volatile constituents in petroleum products adsorbed to soils in the unsaturated (vadose) zone. In this technology, a vacuum is applied through wells near the source of contamination in the soil. Volatile constituents of the contaminant mass “evaporate” and the vapors are drawn toward the extraction wells. Extracted vapor is then treated as necessary (commonly with carbon adsorption) before being released to the atmosphere. The increased air flow through the subsurface can also stimulate biodegradation of some of the contaminants, especially those that are less volatile. Wells may be either vertical or horizontal. In areas of high groundwater levels, water table depression pumps may be required to offset the effect of upwelling induced by the vacuum” (2).​​

Dual Phase Extraction

“Dual-phase extraction (DPE), also known as multi-phase extraction, vacuum-enhanced extraction, or sometimes bioslurping, is an in-situ technology that uses pumps to remove various combinations of contaminated groundwater, separate-phase petroleum product, and hydrocarbon vapor from the subsurface. Extracted liquids and vapor are treated and collected for recovery, disposal, or re-injected to the subsurface (where permissible under applicable state laws)” (3).

Chemical Oxidation

“Petroleum contaminant decomposition and in-situ destruction may be accomplished using chemical oxidation technologies. In contrast to other remedial technologies, contaminant reduction can be seen in short time frames (e.g., weeks or months). A variety of chemical oxidants (such as hydrogen peroxide, ozone, and permanganate) and application techniques can be used to bring oxidizing materials into contact with subsurface contaminants to remediate the contamination. With sufficient contact time with the organic contaminants, chemical oxidants may be capable of converting the petroleum hydrocarbon mass to carbon dioxide and water and ultimately irreversibly reduce concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons in soil and groundwater” (4).

Low-Temperature Thermal Desorption

​”Low-Temperature Thermal Desorption (LTTD), also known as low-temperature thermal volatilization, thermal stripping, and soil roasting, is an ex-situ remedial technology that uses heat to physically separate petroleum hydrocarbons from excavated soils. Thermal desorbers are designed to heat soils to temperatures sufficient to cause constituents to volatilize and desorb (physically separate) from the soil. Although they are not designed to decompose organic constituents, thermal desorbers can, depending upon the specific organics present and the temperature of the desorber system, cause some of the constituents to completely or partially decompose. The vaporized hydrocarbons are generally treated in a secondary treatment unit (e.g., an afterburner, catalytic oxidation chamber, condenser, or carbon adsorption unit) prior to discharge to the atmosphere. Afterburners and oxidizers destroy the organic constituents. Condensers and carbon adsorption units trap organic compounds for subsequent treatment or Condensers and carbon adsorption units trap organic compounds for subsequent treatment or disposal” (5).

Though Bioremediation is often the best method for remediation of soil and water in many oil and gas operations, other alternative remediation technologies recommended by the US EPA may often be utilized to efficiently remediate a site impacted by oil and gas products. HRL personnel can manage various remediation processes and methods.