ZVI Chemistry and a Detailed ZVI PRB Case Study (click here for recording)

Presented by Robert L. Kelley, PhD. and Andrzej Przepiora, M.Sc., P. Geo.

Date: April 29th, 2020

We will discuss the basics of ZVI chemistry and how carbon, sulfur and other amendments can provide an effective treatment. A detail case study will be used to demonstrate this chemistry’ effectiveness.  Zero-valent iron (ZVI) has been used to treat contaminated soil and groundwater for more than two decades.  Through research, development, and field experience, ZVI technology has become increasingly understood, and accepted for the treatment of a wide variety of contaminants.  Since the installation of the first full-scale PRB in Sunnyvale, CA in 1995, more than 200 PRBs have been installed in North America, Europe, and elsewhere.  ZVI has been proven to treat contaminants, such as chlorinated solvents, pesticides, energetics, petroleum hydrocarbons, and metals. 

A case study will be presented where a ZVI PRB was constructed on a former manufacturing facility.  This site was contaminated with chlorinated solvent and oily waste contamination in shallow glacial till deposits beneath the site.  The chlorinated hydrocarbons (CHCs, primarily cis-1,2-dichloroethene [cDCE] and vinyl chloride [VC]) continued to leach from the clay till into an underlying sand aquifer. A CHC plume formed in the aquifer, which extended off-site toward a municipal drinking water supply well. A microscale zero-valent iron (mZVI) permeable reactive barrier (PRB) installed by direct-push technology (DPT) was implemented to prevent further off-site migration of the CHC plume.


Andrzej Przepiora (M.Sc., P.Geo.) is a senior hydrogeologist in the remediation group in Geosyntec Consultant’s Canadian operations. He has 20 years of experience in implementation of ZVI PRBs, including over 40 applications for treatment of chlorinated organic compounds and metals at sites in North America and Europe, with direct involvement in site evaluations, treatability studies, PRB design, construction method selection, and performance evaluations.