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Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments (ARCS) Program

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Prepared for
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Great Lakes National Program Office

by the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Chicago District


Pilot-Scale Demonstration of Solvent Extraction for the Treatment of Grand Calumet River Sediments

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1994. Abstract and Table of Contents for "Pilot-Scale Demonstration of Solvent Extraction for the Treatment of Grand Calumet River Sediments," EPA-905-R94-003. Chicago, Ill.: Great Lakes National Program Office.


This report describes the Basic Extractive Sludge Treatment (BEST) process (a solvent-extraction treatment technology patented by Resources Conservation Company) and its application to the treatment of contaminated sediments. The process design and the properties of the solvent triethylamine are presented. Bench-scale and pilot-scale tests conducted at the Grand Calumet River in Gary, Indiana as part of the Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments (ARCS) program are described.

Two separate tests were conducted on sediment collected from different locations in the Grand Calumet River. Five test runs for each sediment type (Sediment A and Sediment B) were conducted. The averages of the three optimum runs were used to evaluate the technology's performance. Sediment A contained 12 mg/kg PCBs, 550 mg/kg PAHs and 6,900 mg/kg O&G. The process removed more than 99 percent of the PCBs, 96 percent of the PAHs, and more than 98 percent of the O&G. Sediment B contained 430 mg/kg PCBs, 71,000 mg/kg PAHs, and 127,000 mg/kg O&G. The process removed more than 99 percent of the PCBs and PAHs, and more than 98 percent of the O&G.

Cost estimates for a large-scale treatment of Grand Calumet River sediment using a 184 cubic yards per day unit range from $361 to $139 per cubic yard for 5,000 cubic yards and 100,000 cubic yards of sediment treated, respectively.


The goals of the ARCS program for the pilot-scale demonstration and subsequent analyses were to evaluate the efficiency of the BEST technology at reducing organic contamination in GCR sediment with varying levels of contamination and to develop cost estimates for a full-scale application of the process. The following objectives for the pilot-scale demonstration were established by the SITE Program: assessing the quality of the treated solids, the residual product water, and the concentrated oil product, developing capital and operating costs for the technology, developing an overall mass balance for organic contaminants around the BEST pilot plant, evaluating the technology's effect on metals found in the sediment, and assessing the biodegradation of residual triethylamine in the product solids.


List of Abbreviations and Symbols

Description of Area of Concern
Status of RAP
Sediment Characteristics and Quality

Demonstration Approach
Planning Activities
Technology Selection
Solvent Extraction
Planning Report
Site Selection
Sample Collection
Technology Description
Process Theory
Pilot-Scale Process Equipment
Sediment Sample Collection
Sediment Pre-treatment
Bench Scale Treatability Tests
Pilot Unit Operation
Unit Mobilization
Feed Analysis
Batch Processing
Residuals Management

Monitoring Program
Sampling Locations
Sampling Procedures
Untreated Sediment (Raw Feed)
Product Solids
Product Water
Product Oil
Oil/Solvent Mix
Recycled Solvent
Vent Emissions

Results and Discussion
Process Operation
Chemical Concentration Data
Mass Balances
Total Material Balance
Solids Balance
PCB Balance
PAH Balance
Oil and Grease Balance
Water Balance
Solvent Balance
Discussion and Interpretation
Assessing Data Quality
Removal of Organics
Triethylamine Residual in Products
TCLP Leachability of Treated Solids
Biodegradation Tests
Estimated Costs
Basis of Economic Analysis
Cost Conclusions
Conclusions and Lessons Learned
Effects of TSCA on Pilot-Scale Demonstration



The International Joint Commission has identified the Indiana Harbor Canal, all of the Grand Calumet River of Indiana, and the nearshore of Lake Michigan as one of 43 areas of concern (AOC) around the Great Lakes which do not meet one or more of the objectives of the 1978 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement or other standards, criteria or guidelines. The 1987 amendments to the Clean Water Act (CWA), Section 11 8(c)(3), authorized the U. S . Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) to conduct a 5-year study and demonstration project on the control and removal of toxic pollutants in the Great Lakes, with emphasis on the removal of toxic pollutants from bottom sediments. The Clean Water Act (CWA) specified five areas, including the Grand Calumet River/Indiana Harbor and Canal (GCR/IHC) AOC, as requiring priority consideration in locating and conducting on-site demonstration projects.

In response, GLNPO initiated the Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments (ARCS) Program to assess the nature and extent of sediment contamination at the priority AOCs, to evaluate and demonstrate remedial options, and to provide guidance on the assessment of contaminated sediment and the selection and implementation of remedial actions in the AOCs and other locations in the Great Lakes. The ARCS Program created an Engineering and Technology Workgroup (ETWG) to select promising technologies and to carry out the on-site pilot-scale demonstration projects. Other agencies involved in the cooperative effort included USEPA's Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program, USEPA Region 5 and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), Chicago District.

The SITE Program promotes the development and use of innovative technologies to implement federal and state cleanup standards at Superfund sites. SITE's Demonstration Program provides an assessment of an innovative technology's performance, reliability and cost. For this pilot-scale demonstration, SITE assisted in preparation of the demonstration site, collection and analysis of samples, and disposal of treatment residuals. SITE also evaluated the effectiveness of the Basic Extractive Solvent Technology (BEST) process and published two reports: the Technology Evaluation Report (TER, EPA/540/R-92/079a) and the Applications Analysis Report (AAR) (TER, EPA/540/AR-92/079).

The TER contains a comprehensive description of this demonstration project and its results. It provides detailed descriptions of the BEST process (a solvent extraction technology), the sediment used in the project, sampling and analyses, data generated, and the Quality Assurance Program. The AAR, more general than the TER, includes estimated costs for the technology and summarizes the results of the demonstration. The AAR discusses the advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of the BEST process.

The sampling was conducted through EPA's SITE program via Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Analytical tests were conducted by SITE through Maxwell/S-cubed Division, SAIC, Triangle Laboratories, Commercial Testing and IT Air Quality Services. In addition, RCC independently collected and analyzed its own set of samples.

USEPA Region 5 helped procure a location for the demonstration project, acted as an interface between U.S. Steel Gary Works (who provided use of the demonstration site and access to utilities), and assisted in ensuring compliance with applicable Federal laws and regulations, particularly the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The COE, Chicago District, served with the ETWG, awarded and managed a contract with the developer of the BEST process, Resources Conservation Company, Inc. (RCC) and prepared this report. This report describes the ARCS pilot-scale demonstration project conducted at the GCR/IHC AOC.


  1. Grand Calumet River/Indiana Harbor Canal Area of Concern
  2. Inverse Miscibility of Triethylamine and Water
  3. BEST Solvent Extraction Process
  4. BEST Pilot Plant
  5. Sediment Sample Collection Locations
  6. Demonstration Site
  7. Solid and Liquid Sample Locations


  1. Volume-Weighted Mean Concentrations of IHC Federal Navigation Project Sediments
  2. Chronology of Field-Related Activities for the Pilot-Scale Demonstration
  3. Summary of Bench-Scale Testing in Support of the Pilot Demonstration
  4. Analysis Performed on Feed Sediment
  5. Feed Loading Summary
  6. Extraction Sequence used for Sediment A
  7. Extraction Sequence used for Sediment B
  8. Primary Control Parameter Summary
  9. Summary of Analyses
  10. PAH Concentrations and Removal Efficiencies
  11. PCB Concentrations and Removal Efficiencies
  12. O&G Concentrations and Removal Efficiencies
  13. Total Metals in Test Sediments
  14. TCLP Test Results in Test Sediments
  15. Noncritical Analyses Results - Sediment A and B
  16. PAH and PCB Concentrations of Product Water
  17. Total Metals in Product Water
  18. Supplemental Analyses Results - Sediments A and B Product Water
  19. PAH and PCB Concentrations of Sediment B Product Oil
  20. Triethylamine Concentrations in Treated Solids, Product Water and Oil Phases
  21. Mass Balances - Sediment A Inputs
  22. Mass Balances - Sediment A Outputs
  23. Mass Balances - Sediment B Inputs
  24. Mass Balances - Sediment B Outputs
  25. Mass Balance Results, Percent Recovery
  26. Summary of Conclusions for Contaminant Removal
  27. Comparison of Organic Analyses between SITE and RCC
  28. Residual Triethylamine Concentrations
  29. Treatment Costs for 184-cypd BEST System Treating 25,000 Cubic Yards of Contaminated Soil, Sediment or Sludge
  30. Treatment Costs as Percentages of Total Costs for 184-cypd BEST System Treating 25,000 Cubic Yards of Contaminated Soil, Sediment, or Sludge
  31. Treatment Costs for 184-cypd BEST System Operating with an 80-Percent Online Factor
  32. Treatment Costs as Percentages of Total Costs for 184-cypd BEST System Operating with an 80-Percent Online Factor


  1. Collection of Sediment Sample B
  2. Homogenization of Screened Sediment using a Rotary Mixer
  3. BEST Solvent Extraction Pilot-Scale Unit
  4. Samples of Process Residuals - Treated Sediment, Water and Oil


AAR -- Applications Analysis Report
AOC -- area of concern
ARCS -- Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments
ASTM -- American Society of Testing Materials
BEST -- Basic Extractive Sludge Treatment
BOD -- biochemical oxygen demand
COD -- chemical oxygen demand
CFR -- Code of Federal Regulations
COE -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
CWA -- Clean Water Act
cypd -- cubic yards per day
ETWG -- Engineering Technology Work Group
GCR -- Grand Calumet River
GLNPO -- Great Lakes National Program Office
HDPE -- high density polyethylene
IDEM -- Indiana Department of Environmental Management
IHC -- Indiana Harbor Canal
IJC -- International Joint Commission
mg/kg -- milligrams per kilogram
mg/l -- milligrams per liter
ml/min -- milliliters per minute
MS -- matrix spike
MSD -- matrix spike duplicate
NIOSH -- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
O&G -- oil and grease
PAH -- polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon
PCB -- polychlorinated biphenyl
pH -- - log [H+ concentration]
PPE -- personal protective equipment
ppm -- part per million
QAPP -- Quality Assurance Project Plan
QC -- quality control
RAP -- Remedial Action Plan
RCC -- Resources Conservation Company
RCRA -- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
SAIC -- Science Applications International Corporation
SITE -- Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation
SW-846 -- Solid Waste Publication 846 - Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste
TCLP -- Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure
TDS -- total dissolved solids
TER -- Technical Evaluation Report
TIC -- total inorganic carbon
TKN -- total Kjedahl nitrogen
TOC -- total organic carbon
TRPH -- total recoverable petroleum hydrocarbons
TSCA -- Toxic Substances Control Act
TSS -- total suspended solids
USEPA -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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