STAR: From Lab Concept to Full-scale Implementation

Members of the Savron and Geosyntec project team, along with John Vidumsky from DuPont, were on hand to accept the award. Savron team members were Gavin Grant, David Liefl, David Major, and Grant Scholes. Geosyntec team members were Len deVlaming, Scott Drew, Luana Jo, and Michaye McMaster.

On 13 April 2017, the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES) honoured Savron at their annual Awards Luncheon and Conference at the National Press Club, Washington D.C., by presenting them with the 2017 Superior Achievement Award for "The Evolution of STAR from Laboratory Concept to Full-Scale In Situ Implementation."

This award recognizes the collaborative effort of individuals who worked to bring an initial laboratory concept to fruition, implementing a full-scale remedy to treat coal tar impacted soils at depths up to 35 feet below the ground surface at a former manufacturing site (DuPont) in Newark, New Jersey. The successful collaboration included individuals from Savron, Geosyntec, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Queensland, and Strathclyde University.

STAR (Self-sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation) is an energy-efficient self-sustaining smoldering combustion process that captures and recycles the energy released from hazardous materials to destroy them in an effective, controllable, and safe manner. A broad range of hazardous materials including petroleum hydrocarbons, coal tar, creosote, and mineral oils can be treated by this technology.

The team achieved success through laboratory studies, a series of proof-of-concept field pilot studies, and by designing and testing specialized equipment. Savron and Geosyntec designed and/or procured the required equipment for the full-scale remedy as well as developed an innovative application strategy to minimize infrastructure costs associated with the 2,300 underground ignition events required to treat the targeted soil volume at the site. The full-scale remedy began in November 2014 and is anticipated to be complete in 2018. The work is being completed under the New Jersey Licensed State Remediation Program.

Savron received the award from AAEES, a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization serving the Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science professions by providing Board Certification to those who qualify through experience and testing. The Academy also provides training through workshops and seminars, participates in accrediting universities, publishes a periodical and other reference material, interacts with students and young professionals, sponsors a university lecture series, and rewards outstanding achievements through its international awards program.

Savron's Ex Situ (STARx) treatment systems use the same patented process as the in situ STAR technology: smoldering combustion. The STARx process also uses a lot of the same "off-the-shelf" equipment as the STAR technology (compressors, blowers, vapor treatment), but is carried out in fabricated reactor systems or in engineered soil piles depending on throughput requirements, available footprint, and treatment time requirements. These systems are ideal for stockpiles of contaminated soils, sites where surficial soils are contaminated, or for waste oils and sludges.

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