An electrode well for use in powerline-frequency heating of soils for decontamination of the soil. Heating of soils enables the removal of volatile organic compounds from soil when utilized in combination with vacuum extraction. A preferred embodiment of the electrode well utilizes a mild steel pipe as the current-carrying conductor to at least one stainless steel electrode surrounded by a conductive backfill material, preferably graphite or steel shot. A covering is also provided for electrically insulating the current-carrying pipe. One of the electrode wells is utilized with an extraction well which is under subatmospheric pressure to withdraw the volatile material, such as gasoline and trichioroethylene (TCE) as it is heated.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.