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TO:                 Professor Isabella Mendoza, Dept. of Environmental Engineering

                Professor William Fuller, Dept. of Environmental Engineering

FROM:         Samantha Pearson

DATE:         24 February 2009

SUBJECT:         Progress Report on Independent Study for Eng 450

This progress report, as scheduled in my Independent Study Proposal, describes the work completed and the work remaining on the Independent Study Program I undertook for

Eng 450. The report concludes with an appraisal of the progress of the study so far.


The purpose of this independent study is to review literature pertinent to your planned proposal for a pilot project to cleanse soils polluted by such contaminants as diesel fuel and gasoline. The review includes four major tasks:

  • Search for literature concerning the causes and solutions for pipe failures during steam injection.
  • Search for funding sources for the pilot project.
  • Organize and analyze the information gathered.
  • Write a literature review based on the information gathered.


During this reporting period, I focused on the first two tasks: finding information concerning pipe failures and funding. I found excellent information in both areas. Here, I will briefly outline what I have found:

Pipe Failures

A key article in my search for information on pipe failures is Eva L. Davis’s “Steam Injection for Soil and Aquifer Remediation,” in EPA’s Ground Water Issue, January 1998. Davis points out that steam injection is a technology first used to recover oil from depleted oil fields that has been adapted for use in cleansing polluted soils. The problem of pipe failures was known to petroleum engineers and their solutions are still pertinent. Davis’s article led me to several other excellent sources:

  • C. F. Gates and B. B. Holmes, Thermal Well Completions and Operation, Seventh World Petroleum Congress Proceedings 3 (1967): 419–29.
  • S. M. Ali Farouq and R. F. Maldau, “Current Steam Flood Technology,” Journal of Petroleum Technology, October 1979: 1332–42.
  • M. M. Schumacher, Enhanced Recovery of Residual and Heavy Oils, 2nd ed. (Park Ridge, NJ: Noyes Data Corporation, 1980).
  • C. Chu, “State of the Art Review of Steamflood Field Projects,” Journal of  Petroleum Technology, October 1985: 1887–1902.

These sources recommend steel casing over PVC or fibreglass because of the extreme expansion and contraction that goes on during steam injection. They also provide mixture formulas for cement that will hold up under these extreme conditions.


Numerous agencies provide funding for polluted site remediation, but not all are interested in funding test or pilot programs. I have listed some of those who do fund such programs:


  • National Environmental Technology Test Site Program, a partnership of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Defense (DoD)
  • Remediation Technologies Development Forum, a partnership of the EPA, the DoD, and the Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence
  • Program Research and Development Announcements, EPA

The DoD and Air Force programs seem particularly attractive. Their past operations have led to many sites contaminated with gasoline and jet fuel. They seem quite serious about cleaning up these sites and are interested in innovative ways to accomplish the work.



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