STAR in-situ and STARx Ex-Situ thermal remediation technologies

Fast, reliable, energy efficient, environmentally sustainable, inexpensive and safe


STAR is an innovative in situ thermal technology based on the principles of smouldering combustion, where the contaminants are the source of fuel. The process is sustained by the addition of air through a well to the target treatment zone and is initiated through a short duration, low energy “ignition event.” Once the process is initiated (ignited), the energy of the reacting contaminants is used to pre-heat and initiate combustion of contaminants in adjacent areas, propagating a combustion front through the contaminated zone in a self-sustaining manner (i.e., no external energy or added fuel input following ignition) provided a sufficient flux of air is supplied. Active control of the combustion front is maintained by the air supply. This efficient recycling of energy is made possible by the presence of the porous matrix (i.e., contaminated aquifer) that is being remediated.

The above ground equipment used to implement the technology is similar to that used in Air Sparge (AS) / Soil Vapour Extraction (SVE) systems and includes compressors for sub-surface air delivery, blowers for ground surface vapor collection, and vapor phase activated carbon or a thermal oxidizer for vapour treatment. The specialized equipment associated with the STAR process includes the use of 2-inch diameter, carbon steel direct push ignition wells with a stainless steel screen, temporary in-well heaters to initiate the process, and subsurface multi-level thermocouple bundles to track the combustion process


Savron’s Ex Situ (STARx) treatment systems use the same patented process as the in situ STAR technology: smouldering combustion. The STARx process also uses a lot of the same “off-the-shelf” equipment as the STAR technology (compressors, blowers, vapor treatment), but is carried out in fabricated reactor systems or in engineered soil piles depending on throughput requirements, available footprint, and treatment time requirements. These systems are ideal for stockpiles of contaminated soils, sites where surficial soils are contaminated, or for waste oils and sludges.

With waste oils and sludges, the STARx process includes the admixing of a porous matrix (e.g., coarse sand) to facilitate the self-sustained smoldering process. This is a necessary step to transform waste materials that will not burn on their own, to a mixture that will smolder in a self-sustaining (i.e., low energy) process

For further information or site specific discussions with regard to developing a conceptual approach and cost estimate please do not hesitate to call us.

Pilot Testing and Demonstration Projects

We will invariably recommend pilot testing for STAR technology and indeed would welcome the opportunity to undertake a demonstration project on a suitable site.