When assessing SVE applicability at a site, optimal contaminants are generally volatile and easily degraded chemicals such as benzene. Once removed from the subsurface, these contaminants are treated using an oxidizer or vapour phase carbon. SVE is not applicable for contaminants located below the groundwater table, and SVE systems have limited success on contaminants present in the capillary zone. This is due to the nature of vacuum extraction technologies and their tendency to mound the water table during recovery.
SVE can be used in a variety of soil types, with more porous and permeable soils being more effective to treat due to increased airflow through these layers. Additional processes such as air sparging or thermal enhancements can also increase contaminant recovery.
Soil Vapour Extraction (SVE) remains a cost-effective solution for in-situ treatment if contaminants of concern are, volatile/semi-volatile, and are located in the vadose zone.