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Kennedy Space Center Tech Transfer News 8(1):4(2016)

NASA's Sorbent Polymer Extraction and Remediation System (SPEARS) is a unique spiked system designed to remove PCBs from sediment. SPEARS comprises ethanol-filled plastic spikes fitted into square or rectangular plates that fit together to form a blanket for covering targeted sections of a PCB-contaminated sediment site. The passive system works by attracting PCBs out of the sediment and trapping them in the plastic spikes. This process can take months to complete, and spikes can be removed and replaced as they become saturated with PCBs. Under a nonexclusive evaluation license agreement with Kennedy Space Center, Golder has constructed a prototype variation of the SPEARS technology that uses individually sealed ethanol-filled spikes attached to a corrosion-resistant frame. In September of 2015, the prototype was deployed at a site in Canada to evaluate its effectiveness in reducing low-level PCB concentrations in sediment over time. The prototype will remain in place for one year, after which time the equipment will be retrieved, and post-treatment sediment samples will be analyzed for comparison to baseline concentrations. See page 4 at
See also the report, Initial Field Deployment Results of Green PCB Removal from Sediment Systems, for a description of the somewhat different design of early SPEARS demonstration units and their deployment in 2014 at a site in Altavista, Virginia. [It might be necessary to copy and paste this URL for access.]

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