In Situ Chemical Reduction (ISCR)

Learn How The Introduction Of Reductants Lead To Free Product Destruction

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What Is In Situ Chemical Reduction (ISCR)

In situ chemical reduction (ISCR) is an environmental remediation technique that introduces chemically reductive agents into the contaminated area. These reductive additives are introduced into the contaminant plume in either liquid or solid form. Once present, they begin degrading contaminants.

This technique can reduce many types of contaminants into non-toxic or less toxic compounds. However, the overall effectiveness of this method depends on the type and quantity of reductant used.

However, it is often used in tandem with in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO). It is common for these two to be combined in large part because of how they react with one another when appropriately combined.

For example, ISCO requires an oxidant. One of the most common oxidants is hydrogen peroxide. When hydrogen peroxide is combined with an iron catalyst (the most common type of reductant used in ISCR), the reaction and effectiveness of both techniques are amplified.

How Long Does ISCR Take To Work

In general, ISCR is a very fast-acting technique. It's not uncommon to see sites successfully treated with only one application in as little as a month. However, 90 days after the treatment is usually how long it would take for the contaminant to be destroyed. The length of time also is related to the size of the site being treated. Larger sites will take longer to treat as there are typically more injection points.

If the site is particularly large, it may take more than one treatment. But in general, it's safe to assume one treatment should suffice, which is one of the strong points of ISCR & ISCO remediation.

What Contaminants Does ISCR Treat

ISCR can treat a wide array of organic compounds (contaminants). However, it's simply a means of delivering a reductant. Which contaminants can be treated mainly depends on the reductant used in the reaction.

Using iron, free product destruction of all halogenated organic compounds ( chlorinated solvents ) can be achieved, from carbon tetrachloride to vinyl chloride for example.

Common Reductants Used

While this list of reductants is by no means exhaustive, it will give you an idea of the most commonly used reductants being used today.

Zero Valent Metals (ZVM)

Zero Valent Iron (ZVI)

Zero Valent Iron is the most commonly used reductant used today.

Zero Valent Zinc (ZVZ)

Zero Valent Zinc has been increasing in popularity due to various tests and studies showing that it has the potential to be much more potent than iron as a reductant.

Iron Minerals

Various iron minerals, which come in multiple forms - many of which are naturally occurring - can act as a catalyst and lead to the dehalogenation of chlorinated solvents and hydrocarbons. However, the most sustainable iron minerals occur naturally in the soil already. No matter where you go in the USA, there is enough iron beneath the subsurface to treat even the most stubborn sites successfully.

However, quite often these other forms of iron such as ferric iron, zvi particles, iron oxide, granular iron, etc., can be added as needed as well.

What Methods Are Used To Implement ISCR

The methods listed below are by no means all of the methods used today in ISCO, but they are some of the most commonly used in situ remediation technologies available today.

Direct Injection

One of the most common ways to implement ISCR is via direct injection. In fact, with this method not only is in incredibly efficient, but it's also much more affordable than several other methods.

Soil Mixing

One of the most effective and affordable methods we've discovered however, is soil blending. The process involves using excavation equipment to mix contaminated soil together with the chemical reductants in order to achieve the desired reaction. Once mixing has completed, the only thing left is to analyze the levels in the treatment zones.

No waste, no handling costs, no excavation costs.


There are even incredibly non-invasive services that can be used to achieve the desired results of complete site remediation. Our hydro-dart treatment method for example uses our unique technology to cut through contaminated soil to completely saturate and treat contaminants up to 12 feet deep.

When Should You Use ISCR?

In general it's safe to assume that ISCR is a safe bet if your site is contaminated with any type of hydrocarbon or chlorinated solvent. In addition to it being one of the most reliable methods of cleaning up these types of contaminants, it's also one of the most cost-effective and fast-acting remedial solutions to date.

Not only is it incredibly fast acting, but the service is exactly as it says - in situ meaning "in place". When treating the contaminants, it's done right there. There is no need for excavation. There is no need to deal with contaminated drill cuttings. It's all done seamlessly on site, with minimal waste.

Something we do differently here at DTI is we also use ISCO in tandem with ISCR. If you want to know more about in situ chemical oxidation, and how our approach works with that remedial technique, soon we'll have a page up that goes into more detail about our unique approach for ISCO. Our award-winning process results in a reaction that delivers free product destruction without any heat. Meaning there isn't any additional need to trap and treat contaminated gases in addition to your soil and groundwater.

Ultimately, it depends on what your environmental consultant finds during their site assessment.

What Type Of Remedial Equipment Is Required

While the equipment can vary, it's typically done with direct push technology. DPT is what we specialize in, but there are a wide variety of application methods that can be used to achieve the same goal of free product destruction. Both ISCO and ISCR can be achieved without a DPT rig. However, direct push drilling has proven to be the most effective way to administer the remedial compound. Ultimately though, which application method and technology is used to treat your site will depend on many variables.

Anything from the size of the site, severity of contamination, the budget available for the project, depth of contamination, etc. All of these will determine which solution is the best fit for your needs.

A popular method is soil mixing with the use of excavation equipment. In fact, mixing soil has been proven to be one of the most effective methods for site remediation so long as the vertical contaminant distribution is at a reasonable depth. In situ soil mixing in this fashion is much more affordable, and effective, as your environmental professional can ensure the reducing agent has made adequate contact with chlorinated solvents or any other present contaminants.

In Situ Chemical Reduction

Why You Should Choose Us For Your In Situ Needs

We specialize in ISCO and ISCR specifically. Where other companies need to add reductants for their reagent to work, ours uses those naturally occurring in the soil. We don't need to add anything to facilitate the reaction. No matter where you go in the United States, there already exists more than enough iron in the soil to act successfully as a catalyst.

Our patented technology uses chelating agents to bind to iron already present in the soil, so adding iron, zinc, or any other substance to your site is unnecessary.

In addition, our Cool-Ox® technology does not create corrosive byproducts and destroys the contaminants completely. In fact, what is left behind has been proven to promote the growth of microbes that encourage plant growth. When you choose DTI, you're choosing true environmental sustainability. Not only will you get your site back, but our technology will help to bring the balance back to the delicate ecosystem underneath your feet.

Get Your Site Back Today

If you've got a site contaminated with hydrocarbons or chlorinated solvents, you can either give us a call, request a quote, or contact us with any questions to be connected to an environmental specialist.

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