October 4, 2022

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David Major Coauthored a Paper on Carbon Injection and In-situ Smoldering Remediation Published in Remediation

David Major, Ph.D., BCES, (Ontario) coauthored a paper titled "Carbon Injection to Support In-situ Smoldering Remediation" that was published in Remediation: The Journal of Environmental Cleanup Costs, Technologies, and Techniques on September 22, 2022.

David Major was the lead author, and his coauthors were Gillian Wilton and Jason Gehard, both of the University of Western Ontario.     

Dave is a Senior Principal at Savron, a Geosyntec company. With more than 30 years of experience, he is a pioneer in remediation technologies. Dave contributed to the development, demonstration, and application of monitored natural attenuation, enhanced in situ bioremediation, and zero-valent iron permeable reactive barriers, leading the first full-scale installation of that technology. He has also helped commercialize the application of biomarkers, bioaugmentation for the in situ biodegradation of chlorinated solvents, and STAR technology, which is smoldering combustion used to treat heavy hydrocarbons like creosotes and coal tars. Dave is also the Principal Investigator for a U.S. Dept of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) project to demonstrate the application of STAR to treat PFAS compounds in soil and spent activated carbon.

Remediation is a quarterly journal that addresses the practical application of remediation techniques and technologies. Each issue features articles by experts on such important issues as evaluating the costs of uncertainty in risk assessment, determining how clean is clean, using bioremediation successfully and cost-effectively, negotiating remediation contracts, treating hazardous wastes, and understanding regulatory issues.

The journal is published by Wiley Online Library, offering more than 8 million articles from 1,600 journals, many of of which are published in partnership with scholarly and professional societies.


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of anthropogenic contaminants that are receiving increasing concern due to their associated negative health effects. The properties of PFAS result in their persistence and stability, which present challenges for remediation. Activated carbon is currently the most widely used method for PFAS treatment since carbon microparticle injection can be used for in-situ treatment; however, this method does not result in PFAS destruction. Thermal treatment is a promising posttreatment method that can be used with activated carbon as long as sufficient PFAS-destroying temperatures are achieved (>900°C). A promising in-situ thermal treatment technology is Self-Sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR), which uses smoldering combustion to destroy organic contaminants embedded within a porous matrix. This study investigates carbon injection to support STAR for the treatment of PFAS. Four solutions were used (1) 17% colloidal activated carbon (CAC); (2) 23% CAC; (3) 17% powdered activated carbon (PAC); and, (4) 23% PAC. Smoldering temperatures greater than the required PFAS destruction temperature were reached if 50 g carbon/kg sand was achieved for injection and soil-mixing delivery methods. Moreover, emulsified vegetable oil (EVO) was a successful secondary surrogate fuel to enhance smoldering temperatures when supplied at a quantity less than or equal to carbon microparticles. These findings present the necessary intermediate laboratory work to evaluate methods that will achieve PFAS treatment through STAR when applied in the field.

More Information

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