Power of Simplicity
The EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to Cleanup Technologies
Series 5: In Situ Chemical Oxidation
See our Newsletter, Environmental Enlightenment #200, for introduction to one highly valuable, plainly written series of Citizen’s Guides published by the EPA at http://www.clu-in.org/products/citguide
With this issue we introduce the EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to In Situ Chemical Oxidation. You can reach it through the hyperlink under the blue header below.
In situ means being in the original position; not having been moved.
If you want to examine the Great Sphinx of Giza, I’m afraid you will have to do it in situ.
“Bonaparte Before the Sphinx” by Jean-Léon Gérôme
(The reproduction is part of a collection compiled by The Yorck Project.
Compilation copyright held by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.)
In situ remediation of soil is performed on location inside the soil where the contamination resides, contrary to cases where the contaminated soil is excavated and cleaned elsewhere.
Porter , K. S. and M. W. Stimmann. 1988. Protecting Groundwater: A Guide for the Pesticide User. Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Similarly, In situ remediation of groundwater is performed on location inside the aquifer where the contamination resides, contrary to cases where the contaminated water is pumped out and treated above ground.
Oxidation happens when a substance combines with oxygen.
It can flare up in the bonfire
Photograph by Janne Karaste, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License
Or it may develop slowly as rust
Photograph by Tony Fischer, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License
Oxygen makes about 20% of our atmospheric air, so there’s plenty of it around to combine with substances.
Certain substances have more affinity (attraction, liking) to oxygen than others.
Carbon and hydrogen, each on its own, have strong affinity to oxygen. They just can’t wait to mate.
And thus we get H2O (water) and CO2 (carbon dioxide).
Illustration by Jecowa, licensed under
Creative Commons Attribution-Share
Alike 2.5 Generic License
A chemical is a compound or substance that has been purified or prepared, esp. artificially.
Thus, chemical oxidation is an oxidation caused by or between chemicals as contrasted with natural oxidation such as rust or the all-too-common combustion of fuels.
We combine all of the above and find that In Situ Chemical Oxidation is oxidation caused by chemicals that make contact with contamination in the place where the contamination resides.
For example, if you take hydrogen peroxide and inject it into soil laden with petroleum, it will break up the petroleum on contact. (Caution, do not do this on your own without proper training in the inherent, serious hazards!)
Go to the EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to In Situ Chemical Oxidation at http://www.clu-in.org/download/Citizens/a_citizens_guide_to_in_situ_chemical_oxidation.pdf for the rest.