Solidification of Purifier Waste: Novel Approach with Novel Challenges


Solidification of Purifier Waste: Novel Approach with Novel Challenges

Jon Williams, Amber Ahles,  Dave Terry, Paul Jansen, Gary Rozmus,
and Gaylen Brubaker (GEI Consultants, Inc.)
Kevin McCarty (Integral Consulting)
Tracey Bell (NYC Economic Development Corp.)


Jon Williams

GEI Consultants, Inc.

Speaker Bio:

Jon Williams is a PE with more than twelve years of experience as a consulting engineer, primarily in remediation design and construction management. Mr. Williams has participated in the design and implementation of remedial actions on more than a dozen former manufactured gas plant sites. Mr. Williams has recently served as design lead on several MGP remedies with contract values ranging from $5MM to $30MM. Prior to his current role as design lead, he traveled widely within the US to gain hands-on experience as field engineer and construction quality assurance officer for numerous remedy implementations ranging from small projects to multi-million dollar contracts.


Purifier waste is iron oxide-impregnated wood chips used to scrub hydrogen sulfide and other impurities from manufactured gas and is commonly encountered at former MGP sites. Purifier waste can contain percent-level concentrations of sulfur and iron-complexed cyanides such as Prussian blue. The typical remedy for small quantities of purifier waste is to excavate and landfill it. Excavation and disposal was not feasible at a site in New York City with some 100,000 cubic yards of purifier waste spread over more than 10 acres. Instead, the project team designed the first large-scale in situ solidification remedy for purifier waste. During the treatability study phase, it became clear that the unique physical and chemical attributes of purifier waste pose steep challenges to successful solidification. Physical challenges included moisture and organic contents both exceeding 50 percent, and a coarse particle size with a low fraction of inorganic fine-grained material. Chemical challenges included an acidic waste with oxygen-reactive iron sulfides capable of consuming large doses of cement to neutralize the pH. But the key challenge for the remedy proved to be iron-complexed cyanides which, when exposed to the caustic pH of curing cement, are liberated as highly soluble ferrocyanide ions. This presentation describes how the team approached these challenges to produce a novel ISS remedy for purifier waste that integrates the remedy with a material reuse site redevelopment plan, a 24/7/365 food distribution facility, and coastal storm resilience improvements.

To view the full Agenda for MGP 2017 view this link:

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