Case Studies

Marion Oil Refinery – Oil Tank Cleaning

Objective: Tank #202 at the former Marion Oil Refinery site contained 180,000 gallons of non-pumpable crude oil that needed to be removed prior to demolition of the tank. ERC’s task was to increase the fluidity of this material and, if possible, facilitate the removal/sale of the three-f00t pile of sludge in the tank.

Conclusion: ERC’s Bio-Integration® technology completed the task of increasing the fluidity of the 30-year-old crude oil sludge. ERC’s Bio-Integration® technology also changed the chemical composition of the sludge, and was able to sell number 6 fuel oil.

NAPL’s Testing Summary – Soil Remediaton

Objective: Bench-scale tests of various potential remedial technologies were performed on samples of LNAPL and DNAPL- saturated soils containing PCBs and chlorinated benzenes obtained from a CERCLA site in western Pennsylvania. Two destruction technologies (in-situ oxidation and Bio-Integration) were tested in a laboratory setting to determine if the technologies were capable of remediating the specific contaminants and concentrations found in site waters/soils.

Conclusion: The results of the bench-scale tests were submitted to the state and federal agencies in November, 1999 and the findings, along with “ballpark” full-scale implementation cost estimates, were incorporated into the Final Feasibility Study for NAPLs submitted in June, 2000. Based on current estimates of NAPL volumes, a full-scale implementation of the Bio-Integration process would have an estimated net present worth of approximately $6 to 8 million. The success of the chemical oxidation process was more expensive and was dependent on the distribution of silty and sandy soils within the NAPL-impacted area.

POTW Sludge Reduction: Pilot Test

Objective: From January 18, 2002 through April 18, 2002, a full-scale POTW (Publicly Owned Treatment Works) treatability study was conducted. This study was designed to confirm, if possible, earlier laboratory and plant work that indicated an activated sludge wastewater treatment plant could be operated properly without the regular wasting of sludge.

Conclusion: During the ninety-day test period, no sludge was wasted from the treated reactor; 730,000 gallons of sludge were pumped from the untreated reactor. In addition, analytical results from the facility’s regular sampling program indicated a definite, overall improvement over laboratory results. This test indicates that not only a reduction of sludge generation is possible, but that at least 75% long-term reduction can be expected.

Crude Oil Sludge Assimilation Studies

Objective: The following is a thirty-one (31) day (run time), batch, suspended culture, biodegradation study (ies) utilizing biotic and abiotic co-treatment amendments, as provided by ERC, and a highly paraffinic crude oil sludge purchased from a major oil refinery. ERC personnel oversaw the daily operation of the test, measured pH and temperature, provided make-up water, and, at various intervals, harvested subsamples for analytical analyses; said analyses were performed by ENVIROCHEM and TEST AMERICA.

Conclusion: These small scale studies represent a significant advancement in the understanding and predictability of Bio-Integration as it pertains to tank cleaning processes. Despite the compromisingly imposed physical limitations, our original premise held and was validated by the results obtained. Our pragmatic approach provides a viable, economical, and timely alternative for the in-situ cleaning of petroleum storage tanks that requires no solvent based cutter stock, no confined space entry under air, no transportation, no burning, no land filling……..a truly eco-friendly, lean, green initiative. Overall removal rate of 98.7% in 31 days.