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Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE)

 EPA/600/R-98/096

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

  ETV Soil Gas Sampling Technology, Quadrel Services, Inc.- EMFLUX Soil Gas System
August 1998

The EMFLUX system is a passive soil gas sampling system which predicts periods of maximum soil gas emissions in order to be able to select optimal sampling times. EMFLUX system allows simultaneous sample collection by multiple field collectors, eliminating the movement of equipment. EMFLUX system consists of cartridges, insertion tools, and sample analysis and computer modeling. The EMFLUX cartridge consists of a sorbent sealed in a fine mesh screen, which is placed in a glass vile for sample collection and shipped for analysis. The EMFLUX system was demonstrated in May and June 1997 at two sites: the Small Business Administration (SBA) site in Albert City, Iowa, and the Chemical Sales Company (CSC) site in Denver, Colorado. These sites were chosen because each has a wide range of volatile organic compound (VOC) concentrations and because each has a distinct soil type. The EMFLUX system was compared to a reference method, active soil gas sampling, in terms of the following parameters:

  1. VOC detection and quantitation,
  2. sample retrieval time, and
  3. cost.

The demonstration data indicated the following performance characteristics:

  1. The EMFLUX system detected the same compounds as the reference method, as well as several VOCs that the reference method did not detect.
  2. VOC concentrations detected by the EMFLUX system were typically one to four orders of magnitude lower than those reported by the reference method.
  3. The sample retrieval times were generally quicker using the EMFLUX system than the reference method in the clay soils at the SBA site but slower than the reference method in the sandy soils at the CSC site.
  4. In this demonstration, the EMFLUX field collectors were left in place for four days at each site and required twelve days at the SBA site and sixteen days at the CSC site for analysis.
  5. The EMFLUX system cost $85 to $195 per sample plus equipment costs plus mobilization/demobilization costs. Operating costs ranged from $660 to $1,390 at the clay soil site and $710 to $1,440 at the sandy soil site.

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