Soil Vapor Extraction

Published: September 30, 2019 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Soil Vapor Extraction Mean?

Soil vapor extraction (SVE) is a method used to extract volatile and semi-volatile contaminants from the soil by using vacuum pressure. The remediation process utilizes the volatile nature of petroleum hydrocarbons as the primary method and the vapor pressure difference between petroleum and water or soil.

Air sparging is used in conjunction with soil vapor extraction (SVE) to allow the air bubbles to carry the contaminants in the vapor phase to remove them. The vapor plume migration takes place when the SVE system with the help of extraction wells creates a negative pressure in the unsaturated zone.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Soil Vapor Extraction

The SVE process requires the use of equipment such as vacuum blowers or pumps and extraction wells to induce the flow of gas through the sub-surface. Slotted wells are installed in the vadose zone in the location of the contaminated soil. The well is connected to a vacuum pump and sealed at the surface.

A vacuum is applied to the slotted wells creating airflow in the region. When the vapor-phase equilibrium is reached, the volatile components migrate from the liquid into the vapor phase and reach the slotted wells from where they are removed using the vacuum extraction system.


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