Case study: Using soil washing/leaching for the removal of heavy metal at the twin cities army ammunition plant


  • William E. Fristad

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    • Dr. William E. Fristad is Director of TERRAMET® Technology for COGNIS, Inc., of Santa Rosa, California. Over the past four years be has been responsible for technology development, laboratory operations, and plant support. His background is in organic and inorganic chemistry, and be has worked in those fields for COGNIS and its parent company, the Henkel Group, in both the United States and Germany.


COGNIS TERRAMET® soil leaching and Bescorp soil washing systems have been successfully combined to remediate an ammunition test burn area at the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP), New Brighton, Minnesota. This cleanup is the first in the country to successfully combine these two technologies, and it offers a permanent solution to heavy metal remediation. Over 20,000 tons of soil were treated in the project. The cleaned soil remained on-site, and the heavy metal contaminants were removed, recovered, and recycled. Eight heavy metals were removed from the contaminated soil achieving the very stringent cleanup criteria of <175 ppm for residual lead and achieving background concentrations for seven other project metals (antimony, cadmium, chromium, copper, mercury, nickel, and silver). Initial contaminant levels were measured as high as 86,000 ppm lead and 100,000 ppm copper, with average concentrations over 1,600 ppm each. In addition, both live and spent ordnance were removed in the soil treatment plant to meet the cleanup criteria. By combining soil washing and leaching, COGNIS and Bescorp were able to assemble a process which effectively treats all the soil fractions so that all soil material can be returned on-site, no wastewater is generated, and the heavy metals are recovered and recycled. No hazardous waste requiring landfill disposal was generated during the entire remedial operation.