Guidelines: In situ thermal treatment (ISTT) for source zone remediation of soil and groundwater

TASK Leipzig, UFZ

The guidelines are intended to act as a support to successfully perform in situ thermal treatments. The specific planning and implementation steps in the different project phases are illustrated for users, principals and authorities in an easy-to-understand, practice-based manner. The guidelines are also intended to assist in estimating and evaluating the site-specific remediation success of ISTT right from an early stage of planning. Furthermore, possibilities to compensate for investigatory and forecast insecurities by adjusting the overall design are demonstrated, and advice is given for the monitoring of the remediation operations and the evaluation of the remediation success.


1.     Introduction, techniques, objectives

2.     Background
2.1.    Sub-surface heat input
2.2.    Influence of important processes and site conditions on remediation operations
2.3.    Substance parameters and substance sizes of important contaminant groups

3.     Application range and limitations of ISTT techniques
3.1.    Overview of application areas which have proved successful
3.2.    Major plant-specific and spatial conditions  
3.3.    Potentials and limitations of steam (-air) injection (TUBA method) 
3.4.      Potentials and limitations of thermal wells (THERIS method)
3.5.    Potentials and limitations of radio frequency (RF) soil heating
3.6.    Combining methods – When is it appropriate?
3.7.    Current developments in the field of remediation methods
3.8.    Legal aspects and approval requirements
3.9.    Ecological and economic considerations          

4.    Summary        

5.    Picture credits 

6.    Literature (selection)   

Exemplary fields of application and projects


The preparation of these guidelines was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (bmbf) and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ).