Soil Vapor Extraction System Design

Petroleum Refinery

Services Provided


Trihydro completed a detailed value-engineering analysis of two of three liquid ring (LR) blower soil vapor extraction (SVE) remediation systems at a California petroleum refinery. The analysis results provided the basis for decommissioning the LR systems and replacing them with remedial systems that were not only more cost effective, but could achieve regulatory-mandated site remediation goals while complying with air permitting regulations. The SVE System Design Project reduced overall operation and maintenance costs, increased remediation system uptime, and provided an avenue for the refinery to continue expanding its remediation focus to other high-risk areas of its facility.

Trihydro initially performed field inspections of the vapor extraction system infrastructure and operational components, and compiled a detailed list of necessary repairs on vapor extraction well heads, conveyance piping, LR blowers, burners, combustion chambers, stack refractory, knockout pot demister pads, and gas trains. Through this initial inspection, it was determined that the two LR systems were unfit for operation, and they were subsequently shut down.

Upon documenting the repairs necessary to bring the LR systems back online, Trihydro developed a detailed cost comparison of the repairs (totaling $175k) to the cost of various other remedial technologies including thermal oxidation, cryogenic condensation, and the possibility of piping the entire facility well-field to the third LR system still in operation. Remediation equipment vendors were solicited and provided necessary data to perform feasibility evaluations for the refinery’s consideration.

In conjunction with repair costs, Trihydro evaluated over 10 years of groundwater recovery and soil gas data with respect to the LR historical performance and maintenance needs. The review revealed issues with significant downtime (40%) and provided evidence that historical operation and maintenance costs had been used almost solely to address various performance issues with the LR systems.

Based on the equipment repair documentation, cost comparison to other remedial technologies, and historical data review, Trihydro determined that the two LR systems should be decommissioned and replaced with two thermal oxidizers using positive displacement (PD) blowers. Knowing that new system fabrication and permitting could take up to a year, Trihydro identified temporary rental thermal oxidizers as an effective interim resolution to the challenge of continuing to remediate the facility and manage risk while overseeing development of the new systems.

To select an appropriate vendor for new system fabrication, Trihydro worked with the client’s engineering department to develop a bid package comprised of detailed equipment specifications, data sheets, drawing and data requirements, refinery mechanical/electrical and piping standards, recommendations for instrument controls, and anticipated permit compliance limits. A vendor was selected, and Trihydro was awarded the next phase of work, which included preparing operating permits for fabrication and operation of the two new positive displacement (PD) blower SVE systems.
Back to All Projects
This SVE System Design Project reduced overall operation and maintenance costs, increased remediation system uptime, and provided an avenue for the refinery to expand its remediation focus to other high-risk areas of their facility.