Remedial options analysis : sustainable remediation of residential heating oil contamination
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Heating oil remediation typically includes excavating and transporting contaminated soils to an off-site disposal facility, resulting in a large carbon footprint. This paper evaluates, on a preliminary basis, whether heating oil contamination can be remediated more sustainably and discusses the properties of heating oil, potential alternative options, and the sustainability of suitable alternatives. The shortlisted technologies include bioventing, on-/off-site biopiles, on-/off-site soil washing, and on-/off-site low temperature thermal desorption (LTTD). The preliminary evaluation was completed using the International Standards Organization (ISO) 18504 on the sustainable remediation of soil as a framework. After considering the economic, social, and environmental aspects, bioventing performed the best overall but comes with the most uncertainty regarding its effectiveness. Off-site soil washing was the most cost effective but performed the worst for other sustainability indicators. The off-site biopile currently represents the technology that best balances overall sustainability, costs, and certainty. Both on-site LTTD and soil washing appear to offer upside, but more research is recommended to support the preliminary findings.
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