Recycling Drilling Waste Based On Science
Solidification/stabilization(S/S) is a proven, field technology Scott uses to treat contaminated soil, sediment, sludge, and waste. S/S is one of the most widely used in-situ remediation technologies by the U.S. EPA at Superfund sites and was initially used in the United States to safely manage the waste byproducts of weapons-grade plutonium. S/S involves mixing contaminated solid waste materials with treatment additives or “reagents” to cause physical and chemical changes that reduce environmental impact. Ultimately, Scott uses S/S to create low-strength concrete load-bearing structures.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), solidification “involves the processes that encapsulate contaminated material to form a solid material and restricts contaminant migration by decreasing the surface area exposed to leaching and/or by coating the contaminated material with low hydraulic conductivity [movement of water] materials.”
The EPA describes stabilization as “the process where chemical reactions occur between the reagents and contaminated material to reduce the leachability [ability to be removed or transported via contact with water] of contaminated material by creating a stable insoluble form.”
By utilizing S/S, Scott Energy can treat inorganic contaminants typically found in drilled cuttings such as salts and metals, including: arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, uranium and zinc; and organic contaminants such as hydrocarbons.
Before S/S technologies are used to treat the contaminated solid waste, Scott conducts thorough treatability studies so that the right reagents are mixed and the proper equipment is utilized. Generally, the reagents encapsulate and chemically bind the contamination. During and after our S/S processes are used, the materials are tested. The entire process follows performance-related parameters and criteria established by state regulators.
Some of the most important indicators of successful S/S applications involve the compressive strength and how well the process limits both the hydraulic conductivity and leachability of contaminants at the site. Scott achieves these criteria through the creation of engineered monoliths.