Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE)
Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
Minergy Corporation Glass Furnace Technology Evaluation;
Innovation Technology Evaluation Report March 2004
This report presents performance and economic data for a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program demonstration of the Minergy Corporation (Minergy) Glass Furnace Technology (GFT). The demonstration evaluated the technology's ability to reduce polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and metal concentrations in river sediment.
GFT was developed by Minergy to remove PCBs, other organics, and metals from river sediment. The GFT consists of a dryer, a melter, and an air pollution control system. After drying to about 10 percent moisture, the dried sediment is mixed with a flux material to control melting temperatures and improve the physical properties of the glass aggregate product, and introduced into the melter, where it is heated to a temperature of about 1,600 degrees Celsius ( C), at which temperature the sediment is molten. At these high temperatures, PCBs and organic contaminants are destroyed or removed, and metals are encapsulated within the glass matrix. The molten sediment exits the melter into a water-quench bath, where it hardens and shatters to form glass aggregate that, Minergy maintains, has reuse value.
A pilot-scale melter was designed and built at Minergy's facility in Winneconne, Wisconsin, where the GFT demonstration treated a total of about 27,000 pounds of dried sediment in the Summer of 2001. The primary objective for the GFT technology demonstration was to evaluate the treatment efficiency of PCB destruction or removal by the GFT process during the demonstration period. Results of the demonstration indicate that Minergy's GFT removed 99.9995 percent of the PCB contamination in the sediment.
This technology is potentially applicable at hazardous waste sites where river sediment has been impacted by PCBs, other organics, and metals. The cost for treatment using a full-scale treatment facility, constructed at a location in proximity to sediment removal activities, was calculated to be $38.74 per ton of dredged-and-dewatered sediment (containing about 50 percent moisture). Treatment costs, which are affected by the amount of moisture in the sediment and potential end use of the glass aggregate, are based on operating a melter on an average of 600 tons of sediment per day over a 15-year project life.