Manufactured Gas Plants
Prior to the development of natural gas pipeline distribution in the 1950's, most American towns obtained gas fuels manufactured locally. This "manufactured gas" was produced by one of three processes; the capture of combustible gases generated by coal heating and distillation (coal carbonization or coal gas), spraying oil into water in a hot vessel to increase blue gas calories (carbonated water gas process), or by thermo-cracking oil in steam (oil gas process).
At the turn of the 19th century, most sizable cities had their own Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) facility, and from the 1850 - 1930s, MGPs were the main source for heating and lighting.
During peak use (~ 1920 - 1930's), there were more than 10,000 such facilities in operation throughout the U.S. and Europe. In the 1950's when pipeline networks were constructed, natural gas became widely available and thus eliminated the need for MGP facilities. The majority of these facilities were demolished and abandoned, and the land on which they were located became the property of various electric and gas utility companies.
The site remediation of Manufactured Gas Plant sites is a complex and challenging task due to the recalcitrant nature of the coal tar products and PAHs. Geo-Con has amassed considerable experience remediating MGP sites over the past 20 years. Geo-Con has been a leader of implementing in-situ technologies at MGPs, particularly In Situ Solidification/ Stabilization (ISS) and Slurry Wall technologies. Geo-Con was one of the early pioneers of ISS work at MGP sites, implementing one of the first ISS projects at an MGP site located in central Georgia. Geo-Con has continued to lead the industry by completing the initial ISS projects at MGP sites in multiple states, paving the way for the technology. Geo-Con has an excellent understanding of the complex subsurface obstacles and contaminants at MGP sites, as well as the sensitive nature of most of the remediation projects. Historically most MGPs were located centrally to the communities that they served. This places them squarely in many town centers and neighborhoods. Many of the in situ technologies that Geo-Con implements are advantageous as they assist in controlling emissions, odors and other nuisances such as disposal truck traffic through local neighborhoods.
In addition, Geo-Con has developed additional proactive means and methods to manage most equipment and operational noise, as well as dust and odors to lessen the impact to surrounding communities during remediation. At Geo-Con we believe there are lessons learned from every project and it is those lessons from MGP sites that make us better seasoned and equipped to the handle complex challenges that these historic sites can provide.