ION Science Industry Blog

The latest industry news, knowledge and opinion.
Soil Remediation
11 July 2018

Subsurface Gas Monitoring


So, what can be done to mitigate the potential drastic effects?

Whether a landowner, developer or regulator the objective is identical; namely to ensure that any existing or proposed development remains or takes place safely.

10 July 2018

Environmental Factors That Can Influence Gas Migration


Rapid changes in atmospheric pressure influence the risk of gas entry into properties. As atmospheric pressure decreases the likelihood of gas entry into the properties on the site increases. This relationship was evident from early monitoring in a vacated Gorgebridge property (see figure 1).

The highest concentration of CO2 represented by the blue line, were recorded when the atmospheric pressure, represented by the dotted red line, was lowest and had fallen rapidly.

3 July 2018

Migration Pathways


Migration pathways include pore spaces (e.g. in sands or gravels), fractures, joints, bedding planes and fault lines.

Anthropogenic influences can increase permeability, for example, by activities such as mine grouting, air blast rotary drilling, blasting and mining. All of these can have potentially catastrophic effects on pathways and ground gas movements. In addition, anthropogenic influences include sewers, granular backfill around services, cable ducts, pipes, service ducts, drains and voids such as inspection pits, under floor spaces and basements, all of which may provide preferential ground gas migration pathways.

Soil Remediation
2 July 2018

Soil/Gas Risks


Uncontrolled subsurface gas migration and emission poses a number of risks to the environment and human health & safety from anthropogenic sources (the general term for gases originating in human activity) such as:-

  • landfill waste

  • abandoned coal mining

  • shale gas production

  • contaminated land from past industrial use (some dating as far back as Victorian times)

  • pipeline leaks from current industrial processes such as oil refining & chemical manufacture

  • Coal bed methane

Soil Remediation
26 April 2018

Urban Remediation


Urban regeneration (revitalization in the US) is a common strategic objective for Governments and Cities alike.  Take the London 2012 Olympics as a prime example. 

The enabling works cleaned up an area of East London which was heavily contaminated as a result of former industrial activity. 

Soil Remediation
26 April 2018

Soil Remediation


Remediation (the action of reversing or stopping environmental damage) and health risk assessment are increasingly required by both industry and property developers as more is understood about risks from contaminated land, and regulations become more stringent. 

Remediation of an industrial site may be required when an environmental permit is surrendered, or following an accidental release of pollutants to land.  Similarly, it is often required in order to obtain planning permission and develop the site.

Soil Remediation
25 April 2018

Soil Remediation: An Urban Future


According to professional services firm, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), our future is set to be urban. 

They say that:-

  • More than half the world’s population already live in urban areas
  • 5 million people are added to the global urban population every week
23 April 2018

Can Humidity Interference Affect PID Results?


A common frequently asked question is “can humidity interference affect my PID detector results?”  Like many sensors and measurement instrumentation, traditional PIDs can indeed be affected by the environmental conditions i.e. dust, dirt and in particular, humidity.  The major producers of oil & gas are located in the Gulf States and in or close to the Gulf of Mexico, which are of course areas of high temperature and high humidity. 

Humidity can disrupt PID measurements in two ways leading to false low or conversely high readings. 

The cause of low readings is because water vapour absorbs the photons released by ionisation within the sensor as can be seen in the simplified cross sections of a PID sensor (figure 1).

23 April 2018

Oil & Gas Production


Thinking about process industries such as the oil & gas sector, it is well knowing that during normal operations, leaks can occur from pumps, valves, flanges, storage tanks or during loading and unloading. 

According to US EPA figures2, this can mean hundreds of tons of volatile organic compounds (VOC) including benzene, which pose a serious health risk3.

Fixed and personal photoionisation detectors (PIDs) have proven to be an ideal solution for VOC detection because they afford protection for individual workers (and their co-workers), and have high level audible, visual (and vibratory) alarms which activate when exposure levels exceed set thresholds.

23 April 2018

What is humidity?


Humidity is a natural phenomenon and is an amount of water vapour present in the atmosphere or in a gas. 

Water vapour itself is the gaseous state of water and is invisible to the human eye but we have all experienced how uncomfortable high humidity can make you feel.

Humidity comes from water evaporating from lakes and oceans and since warmer water evaporates more quickly you find the most humid regions closer to warm bodies of water, like the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and Miami, Florida.