CLU-IN Home

U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

Permeable Reactive Barriers, Permeable Treatment Zones, and Application of Zero-Valent Iron

Additional Resources

Permeable Barrier Installation Profiles
RTDF (Remediation Technologies Development Forum)

This webpage was last updated in August 2001 but contains numerous profiles of barriers constructed before then.

Adobe PDF LogoPermeable Reactive Barriers Just Keep Getting Better: How to Keep Up with the Times
French, K. | SMART Remediation 3 February, virtual, 58 slides, 2022

This presentation outlines an improved approach to permeable reactive barrier (PRB) design that takes advantage of the current state of knowledge and technology in the environmental industry. Aspects discussed include necessary site characterization data inputs; high-resolution PRB alignment profiling; desktop modeling and preliminary design; bench-scale PRB design testing and optimization; detailed design and sensitivity analysis; installation techniques, including in fractured bedrock; and new QA/QC test methods for reactive media, including AC amendments. The presentation also provides examples of recently completed projects. The updated approach may serve as a roadmap for environmental practitioners to increase the certainty of performance and cost-effectiveness for all types of PRBs.

Progress in the Development and Application of Permeable Reaction Barriers for Remediation of Dissolved Oil Contaminants in Groundwater
Shen, H., Y. Huang, and Y. Su. ǀ Water and Environment Journal [Published online 10 September 2021 prior to print]

This article reviews and compares the application of permeable reaction barriers (PRBs) to remove dissolved oil contaminants. Research gaps are highlighted to clarify previous research results and provide references for future research on remediation of contamination by dissolved oil contaminants in groundwater. The article focuses on the relationship between structure design, media types, and service life of PRBs, along with groundwater flow velocity, temperature, pH, and other hydrochemical conditions. These influencing factors are used to explain and analyze the remediation of oil contamination in groundwater.

A Risk/Benefit Appraisal for the Application of Nano-Scale Zero Valent Iron (NZVI) for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites
Bardos, P., B. Bone, P. Daly, D. Elliott, S. Jones, G. Lowry, and C. Merly.
NanoRem Issues Paper, 89 pp, 2014

This report discusses the relative risks and benefits of NZVI usage for in situ remediation (i.e., the potential for the NZVI treatment agent itself to present human health or environmental risks) and its sustainability as a technique; identifies the areas where further investigation might be required; and provides an overview of NZVI use in full-scale, pilot, and lab studies to date. This paper is intended to help stakeholders by identifying key issues and providing a basis for evidence-based decisions.