Thermal Desorption at the Lipari Landfill, Operable Unit 3, Pitman, New Jersey

Site Name:

Lipari Landfill Superfund Site


Pitman, New Jersey

Period of

September 1994 - September 1995


Full scale


Mark A. Fleri, P.E.
Vice President
Williams Environmental Services, Inc.
2075 West Park Place
Stone Mountain, GA 30087
Telephone: (800) 247-4030/(770) 879-4075
Fax: (770) 879-4831

Thermal desorption
- Low temperature thermal desorption system owned by Williams Environmental Inc - direct-heated countercurrent rotary dryer fired by a 49 million BTU/hour burner, feed metering unit, baghouse, thermal oxidizer, and control unit that housed the controls, data logger, and analyzers.
- Average system throughput - 311 tons/day (first 4 months); 529 tons/day (remainder of project)
- Residence time - 20 minutes
- Average soil exit temperature - 733 oF (before October 21, 1994);
850°F (after October 21, 1994)

Cleanup Authority:
- ROD signed July 11, 1988

PRP Contractor
Philip R. DeLuca
Sevenson Environmental Services, Inc.
2749 Lockport Rd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14305
Telephone: (716) 284-0431
EPA Contact:
Fred Cataneo
EPA Remedial Project Manager
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10007
Telephone: (212) 637-4428
Fax: (212) 637-4393

VOCs, SVOCs, and Metals
- VOCs - trichloroethene, chlorobenzene, acetone, benzene, toluene
- SVOCs - bis (2-chloroethyl) ether, benzoic acid, acid/extractables, base/neutral extractables
- Metals - antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, selenium, molybdenum, mercury, nickel, silver, thallium, vanadium, zinc

Waste Source:
Disposal of a variety of household, chemical, and other industrial wastes in a landfill

Type/Quantity of Media Treated:
- 80,000 tons of soil treated
- Moisture content - 20-30%

Purpose/Significance of Application:
Thermal desorption of a soil contaminated with VOCs, SVOCs, and metals

Regulatory Requirements/Cleanup Goals:
Cleanup goals for soil:
- Total VOCs - 1 mg/kg
- SVOCs - bis (2-chloroethyl) ether (0.011 mg/kg), acid extractables (50 mg/kg), and base/neutral extractables (10 mg/kg)
- Metals (total) mg/kg - antimony (10), arsenic (20), barium (400), beryllium (1), cadmium (3), chromium (100), copper (170), lead (500), selenium (4), molybdenum (1), mercury (1), nickel (100), silver (5), thallium (5), vanadium (100), zinc (35)
- Metals (TCLP) mg/L - arsenic (5), barium (100), cadmium (1), chromium (5), lead (5), mercury (0.2), selenium (1), silver (5)

Emission limits were identified by the NJ DEP for organic and inorganic compounds and air quality parameters, including a DRE of 99.99%

Available performance data for this application is limited to the results of the performance test conducted in May 1995. The results show that, with the exception of molybdenum, all soil cleanup targets were met during the test. According to the vendor, the elevated concentrations of molybdenum were due to its use in the grease on the front-end loader used to transport soil.

While no concentration data were provided for treated soil other than for the performance test, the vendor reported that, ninety-five percent of the soil was treated to below the cleanup goals on the initial pass through the desorber. The soil that did not meet the cleanup goal for bis (2-chloroethyl) ether was retreated to meet the cleanup goal.

Cost Factors:
- The total cost for the thermal treatment application at this site was $6,082,029, including $430,000 in capital cost and $5,019,292 in O&M costs
- The unit cost for this application was $68/ton based on treating 80,000 tons of soil

The Lipari Landfill (Lipari) site was used for disposal of a variety of household, chemical, and other industrial wastes from 1958 to 1971. Approximately 3 million gallons of liquid wastes and 12,000 cubic yards of solid wastes were disposed of in trenches originally excavated for sand and gravel. The wastes included solvents, paints and thinners, formaldehyde, dust collector residues, resins, and solid press cakes from the industrial production of paints and solvents. The Lipari Landfill was closed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in 1971 and added to the National Priorities List in September 1983. In July 1988, EPA signed a Record of Decision to clean up Operable Unit (OU) 3 (offsite contamination) at Lipari using thermal desorption for soil and sediment from a marsh area.

The thermal treatment system used for this application was a low temperature thermal desorption system owned by Williams Environmental Services, Inc. Thermal desorption was conducted at the site from September 1994 to September 1995, including a five month downtime to rebuild a baghouse used for treating the off-gas from the thermal desorber. A total of 80,000 tons of contaminated soil and sediment were treated during this application. The total costs for the thermal treatment application $6,082,029 ($68/ton of soil treated). The presence of elevated levels of sulfur pyrite in soil treated through the desorber caused a fire in the baghouse partway through the project. The fire destroyed the baghouse and delayed completion of the project by five months. The high moisture content of the soil (20 to 30%) obtained from the marsh limited the throughput, and lime was added to the soil to reduce the moisture content and improve material handling.