Course Description


Smouldering combustion is a low-cost, energy efficient thermal technique for the treatment of contaminated soils. This approach is commercially available as the STAR (in situ) and STARx (ex-situ) technologies and has traditionally been used for the treatment of heavy hydrocarbons. For these contaminants, the smouldering reaction propagates in a self-sustaining manner following a short duration, low energy input ‘ignition event’ as the energy released from the reacting contaminants is used to pre-heat and combust contaminants in adjacent areas, provided that a sufficient flux of air is supplied.
 In 2020, QM Environmental, teaming with Savron, was awarded a contract by the site Construction Manager, Ellis Don, to treat a minimum of 75,000 m3 of hydrocarbon contaminated soils via the largest STARx treatment Plant constructed to date as apart of the Toronto Waterfront revitalization project. The STARx plant consists of four HP-250 Base Systems with a treatment capacity of approximately 1000 m3 per week. Details regarding system design, plant construction and operations to date will be discussed.
 Savron has also been developing new applications for smouldering combustion, including techniques for the treatment of materials impacted with contaminants of emerging concern. The presentation will highlight these recent advancements, including data from two projects conducted under the US Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research Program for the smouldering treatment of PFAS-impacted soils.


Project Engineer

Dave Liefl, P.Eng. (ON)

Dave Liefl, P.Eng., is a project engineer with Savron with more than 10 years of experience in the field of environmental remediation and the development and implementation of the Self-sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR) technology. Mr. Liefl has been involved in the design, implementation and operations of numerous remediation projects while working with Geosyntec and joined Savron in 2015 to focus on the development of STAR/STARx. Mr. Liefl is a member of the Geosyntec Joint Health and Safety Committee and Research and Development Committee.

Course curriculum

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    GeoPro Talks - Smouldering Combustion: Large-scale Operations at the Toronto Waterfront Project and New Advancements for the Treatment of Emerging Contaminants

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