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Key Facts on Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contamination at Danang Airport

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  • The project will treat an estimated 90,000 cubic meters of contaminated soils and sediments at the Danang Airport to below Government of Vietnam cleanup standards.
  • The treatment structure is 70 meters wide and approximately 100 meters long (based on actual volume). Including top and bottom insulation, the structure stands about eight meters tall. The soil and sediment is heated to approximately 335 degrees C with 1,254 heating wells.
  • The Vietnamese and U.S. governments have been collaborating on Agent Orange/dioxin issues since 2000. The Prime Minister's Office designated the Ministry of National Defense to be the Government of Vietnam project owner/partner on the Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contamination at Danang Airport project. 
  • USAID, the implementing agency for the USG, and MND work closely to execute the project. The first phase of remediation successfully treated approximately 45,000 cubic meters of material in 2015; the second phase of remediate will begin in late 2016.
  • The project is estimated to be completed in 2018.
  • The U.S. and Vietnamese governments identified the use of In-Pile Thermal Desorption (IPTD, or thermal remediation) as the most effective and proven technology for Danang Airport during the development of an environmental assessment/environmental impact assessment process.
  • Collectively, USAID's contractors for the Danang project have successfully applied innovative technology solutions, including thermal remediation, on hundreds of projects involving construction management, environmental remediation, oversight of multiple parties, and site-wide health and safety.

How thermal remediation works:

  • Contaminated soils and sediments are excavated and safely hauled to a treatment structure that was constructed on the Project site.
  • Once placed in the treatment structure, the contaminated soil and sediment is treated using the thermal desorption technology or IPTD.  Thermal desorption involves heating the soils and sediments to a high temperature (approximately 335 degrees Celsius) where the dioxins are destroyed. The dioxin breaks down to carbon dioxide, water, and chloride.  Any dioxin not destroyed in pile are captured and treated prior to discharge.
  • Following confirmatory samplings, the treated soils and sediments are removed from the treatment structure and are safe for industrial and commercial reuse.

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Last updated: August 01, 2016

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