SVE is an in situ technology in which VOCs such as MTBE and other oxygenates are removed with soil vapor from the vadose zone. It involves the application of a vacuum to the soil to create a negative pressure gradient that induces subsurface vapor flow toward one or more extraction points. Soil vapors are collected from the extraction points and generally are captured and then treated with one or more aboveground treatment technologies prior to being discharged to the atmosphere.
SVE is used to reduce the concentration and mass of MTBE and other oxygenates in the vadose zone, which reduces its potential to migrate as vapors into buildings or to act as a continuing source of groundwater contamination. SVE may also reduce groundwater contaminants through the enhanced evaporation of the NAPL, volatilization of contaminants dissolved in pore water, and stimulation of biodegradation. SVE is also used as a component of air sparging or other systems to collect injected gases that have stripped contaminants from groundwater.
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