Mobile Dual Phase Extraction Systems

Clean Harbors provides new and used dual-phase extraction systems. We can also rent/lease these systems or provide a rent-to-own option. New and used system components can be combined for customer cost savings.


Dual-phase extraction (DPE), also known as multi-phase extraction, vacuum-enhanced extraction, or sometimes bioslurping, is an in-situ technology that uses a high vacuum pump or pumps to remove various combinations of contaminated groundwater, separate-phase petroleum product, and hydrocarbon vapor from the subsurface. Extracted liquids and vapor are treated and collected for disposal, or re-injected to the subsurface (where permissible under applicable state laws).

DPE systems can be effective in removing separate-phase product (free product) from the subsurface, thereby reducing concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons in both the saturated and unsaturated zones of the subsurface. DPE systems are typically designed to maximize extraction rates; however, the technology also stimulates biodegradation of petroleum constituents in the unsaturated zone by increasing the supply of oxygen, in a manner similar to that of bioventing.

Dual-phase extraction is often selected because it enhances groundwater and/or product recovery rates, especially in layered, fine-grained soils. The application of DPE also maximizes the effectiveness of soil vapor extraction (SVE) by lowering the water table and therefore increasing air-phase permeabilities in the vadose zone.

System Design

Single-Pump Systems. Single-pump systems rely on high-velocity airflow to lift suspended liquid droplets upwards by frictional drag through an extraction tube to the land surface. Single-pump vacuum extraction systems can be used to extract groundwater or combinations of separate-phase product and groundwater.

Single-pump DPE systems represent a recent adaptation of the long-established technology known as "vacuum groundwater extraction". This technology has been used for many decades as a standard method for extracting groundwater to control seepage or effect dewatering during excavation, construction and mining activities.

Single-pump DPE systems are generally better suited to low-permeability conditions, and they are difficult to implement at sites where natural fluctuations in groundwater levels are substantial. United States patents exist on certain applications of single-pump DPE systems (Hess et al., 1991; Hajali et al., 1992; Hess et al., 1993). Single-pump DPE technology is sometimes referred to as bioslurping (Powers, 1994).

Dual-Pump Systems. The dual-pump system uses one pump to extract liquids from the well and a surface blower (the second pump) to extract soil vapor. A third DPE configuration uses a total of three pumps, including the surface blower together with one pump to extract floating product and one to extract groundwater. Both double- and triple-pump DPE systems extract the well liquids separately from the soil vapor and are similar in operation and application

Dual-pump DPE systems are simply a combination of traditional soil vapor extraction (SVE) and groundwater (and/or floating product) recovery systems. Dual-pump systems tend to be more flexible than single-pump systems, making dual-pump systems easier to apply over a wider range of site conditions (e.g., fluctuating water tables, wide permeability ranges); however, equipment costs are higher.