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Leaders in Remediation of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

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- Enhances Efficiency

- Minimizes Methane Production

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Electron Donor

Solutions for


Reductive Dechlorination

Formulating Surfactant Blends

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Additive injection and groundwater recirculation trailers available for short or long term lease.

TersOx™ - Inorganic Peroxygen for Enhanced Aerobic Bioremediation

RemBind designed to treat TPH, PAH, PFOS, PCBs, PCPs, and various pesticides

Sulfate Enhanced Bioremediation 

Surfactant Flushing Treatability Studies

Non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) are organic liquids, such as gasoline and diesel that are sparingly soluble in water. NAPL contamination commonly exists as blobs that become trapped within the formation. As they do not readily dissolve or mix with water, these compounds can remain as separate phase liquids for decades.

Tersus' strategic alliance partner Surbec Environmental (Surbec) conducts bench-scale treatability studies at the University of Oklahoma, School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering. The study will evaluate the feasibility of surfactant enhanced aquifer remediation for the removal of non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPL) at your site in Virginia. Further, Surbec will develop a surfactant formulation specific to the site’s geochemistry and NAPL composition.  As part of these studies, Tersus also engages Mark Hasegawa to support the evaluation of those parameters integral to effluent recovery and treatment.



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Our studies will include:

Groundwater and NAPL Properties Determination
Surbec will analyze the groundwater for the following ions: sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium and sulfate. Surbec will analyze the NAPLs present and determine the following parameters: density, viscosity and equivalent alkane number. An important point to note in association with NAPL viscosity and advective flow based systems in heterogeneous matrices is the potential requirement to use polymers to mitigate unfavorable NAPL/ground water mobility ratios. Should Surbec conclude that polymer is required, Surbec will determine the optimum concentration. Using polymers may have the beneficial effect of reducing the number of pore volumes of surfactant required to meet your goals and objectives.

Phase Behavior Study
This study will determine the optimal surfactant/electrolyte formulation that will produce an ultra-low NAPL/ground water interfacial tension (IFT).

Precipitation and Phase Separation Studies
After developing a surfactant formulation with an ultra-low IFT, Surbec conducts precipitation and phase separation studies to improve the performance of the formulated surfactant system for the expected site conditions. These studies determine the tolerance of surfactant systems to the most common divalent cation, calcium (II), Ca+2, found in groundwater. Surbec will design the system to minimize the surfactant lost to precipitation, as it would not be available for NAPL mobilization and would have the potential to interfere with fluid flow.

Column Studies
Surbec uses one-dimensional column studies to determine the extent of any unfavorable groundwater/NAPL/surfactant interactions. If the event that site soils are not available, Surbec will use an ideal soil, usually Ottawa sand. Please note that the Surbec approach is highly conservative, as Surbec anticipates heterogeneous field conditions. Surbec starts the study with residual NAPL saturations of 20% or higher.

Evaluation of Effluent Treatment Operations
Surbec will perform the following tests to help design the extraction and treatment system for the recovered surfactants and contaminants:

  • Batch solubilization testing will determine the effect of dilution on the target contaminants by the surfactant, which is useful for the design of contaminant removal processes.
  • Batch carbon sorption studies will provide carbon adsorption isotherms for the design of the carbon canisters for contaminant or surfactant removal.
  • Ultrafiltration testing will evaluate the effectiveness of filtering surfactant micelles from solution for reuse. The filtrate (or permeate) will also be tested to determine surfactant and contaminant concentrations.
  • Batch oxidation testing will establish design parameters for using oxidants to remove surfactant and contaminant from potential waste streams.


Surbec will need the following samples:  geologic materials (1.5 kg), groundwater (4 liters) and NAPL (1 liter each).  After you place your order, Tersus will review sampling and shipping protocols with you.

Surbec will provide biweekly updates via email. Surbec will tabulate the data and will prepare a report containing photo documentation of the formulation of the surfactant system will remain the property of Surbec Environmental and will not be disclosed.  The report will include suggested application rates as well as projected NAPL recovery rates as a percentage of the initial residual saturation and as a function of coalescing systems, the methodology, data generated and interpretation of the results from the treatability study. The pore volumes of surfactant injected. The completed report will be approximately 5 to 8 pages in length.