Thermal Desorption – the SOLVE process

Thermal Desorption – the SOLVE process

Did you know that SOLVE is Australia’s biggest hazardous waste facility and uses one of the world’s most advanced technologies to break down dangerous contaminants?

Thermal desorption first emerged as a viable environmental treatment technology in 1985.  It is often referred to as “low temp” thermal desorption to differentiate it from high temperature incineration. 

CRC Care describes the thermal desorption as “a process that directly or indirectly heats contaminants to a temperature high enough to volatise and separate them from a contaminated solid medium.”

Contaminated materials are stored in a fully enclosed building with emission management systems. A broad programme of monitoring ensures avoiding impact to employees, community and environment.

Contaminants are broken down into carbon dioxide and water.  Acidic gases are also formed and are neutralised using a sodium hydroxide solution to form water and common salt (NaCl).

All dust that is generated is collected by special filter bags and returned to the process to form the final product: clean soil.

SOLVE has been fully operational since 2018.  It’s expanded to treat a growing range of contaminants including PFAS solids (M160), spent filter media (N210), contaminated soils (N119, N120, N121) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from across the country.

If there is a waste stream that is causing an issue for your customers, community or industry, please contact us at – there may be opportunity to expand our research programme.

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