Powerline-frequency electrical (joule) heating of soils using a high efficiency electrode configuration and power phase arrangement. The electrode configuration consists of several heating or current injection electrodes around the periphery of a volume of soil to be heated, all electrodes being connected to one phase of a multi-phase or a single-phase power system, and a return or extraction electrode or electrodes located inside the volume to be heated being connected to the remaining phases of the multi-phase power system or to the neutral side of the single-phase power source. This electrode configuration and power phase arrangement can be utilized anywhere where powerline frequency soil heating is applicable and thus has many potential uses including removal of volatile organic compounds such as gasoline and tricholorethylene (TCE) from contaminated areas.
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.