Fracturing is a technology designed to increase the efficiency of removal and in-situ treatment techniques. It is primarily used in difficult soil conditions to enlarge existing fissures and introduce new fractures. The new fractures occur primarily in the horizontal direction, and they facilitate Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE) or methods that inject gases or fluids for Enhanced Bioremediation. Common soil fracturing technologies include blast-enhanced fracturing, pneumatic fracturing.
Pneumatic Fracturing (PF)
In the PF process, wells are drilled in the root zone. Small (0.6-meter or 2-foot) portions of the zone receive short bursts (about 20 seconds) of compressed air. This fractures a small radius surrounding each well. The process is repeated throughout the root zone. These new passageways increase the effectiveness of in-situ processes and enhance extraction efficiencies by increasing contact between contaminants adsorbed onto soil particles and the extraction system. This technology is used primarily to fracture silt and clay soil.