Frequently Asked Questions
What the human health and safety concerns with working in a busy environment like a refinery?
An environment like a refinery always requires caution and planning. Our energy wave system is extremely safe and posses little human safety concern. Our case studies for our in-situ work was performed in the middle of the main operating area of the Ashland St. Paul Park, MN refinery.
MICROWAVES!! Isn't that dangerous?
In our sludge and in-situ processes we use a frequency of 915 Mhz. This is almost identical to the old cell phones, which operated at 900 Mhz. The difference is we use much higher power settings. The process is safe.
The water purification and the vapor treatment process does use the same type of microwave you use at home in a microwave oven, however this process is completely enclosed and posses no human safety concern. Just like your microwave oven at home, our process is contained within a metal housing though which microwave can not pass.
What effects do the microwave operations have on equipment or communications in a refinery area?
There has been no effect on communication, pumping, or any operating equipment during five years of operations on two different areas within the refinery.
How does the microwave interact with underground tanks and pipelines?
The microwaves simply bounce off any metal in their pathways.
What length of radius do the microwaves travel from the energy source well?
This length has never been measured. However, we have data documenting that the effect of microwaves at a distance of 1275 feet from the energy well.
What percent of the subsurface contamination can be expected to be recovered during the microwave remediation process?
This is a difficult number for any remediation process to estimate. However, the microwave process will recover a larger percent than any other technology. This claim is substantiated by the fact that this process breaks the hydrocarbon bond with the substrate thus enabling it to be recovered.
In what soil types does the in-situ technology work?
This process will work in any soil type that technologies such as pump and treat or soil vapor extraction will work. As with these technologies, the hydraulic conductivity will determine the speed at which this process will work.
What types of contaminants do the microwaves affect?
Presently, we know that any hydrocarbon-based contaminant will be affected. Further testing is needed to analyze the entire range of contaminants that will be remediated by microwaves in the future.
What applications is your system best suited for?
That's a question with many answers. For in-situ, the microwaves speed up the recovery time and the recovery volumes, thereby decreasing the amount of time before a site is completely remediated. Sites where time is of the essence would be wise to look into ERI's in-situ process.
Anywhere that you have an air or water stream with organics that need to be removed, our process is perfect. Benzene in water, air etc. GAC removes these organics at 99.99%. The problem in the past with GAC has been regeneration, thus keeping it off larger sites. With our microwave regeneration we solve this problem and regenerate the GAC onsite with no waste stream whatsoever.
The sludge process is ideal at a facility were large volumes of oil/water emulsions are being accumulated or treated. The process is a batch treatment, so it becomes more cost effective the higher the volumes treated in a given day. With one unit we can typically treat around 30,000 gallons per day.