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Title: Treating of solid earthen material and a method for measuring moisture content and resistivity of solid earthen material

The present invention includes a method of treating solid earthen material having volatile, semi-volatile and non-volatile contaminants. Six electrodes are inserted into a region of earthen material to be treated in a substantially equilateral hexagonal arrangement. Six phases of voltages are applied to corresponding electrodes. The voltages are adjusted within a first range of voltages to create multiple current paths between pairs of the electrodes. The current paths are evenly distributed throughout the region defined by the electrodes and therefore uniformly heat the region. The region of earthen material is heated to a temperature sufficient to substantially remove volatile and semi-volatile contaminants. This temperature is less than a melting temperature of the earthen material. The voltages are then increased to a second range of voltages effective to create dry regions around the electrodes. The dry regions have a perimeter which define a boundary between the dry regions and the earthen material exterior to the dry regions. Corona discharge occurs at the boundaries of the dry regions. As voltages are increased further, the dry regions move radially outward from the electrodes through the entire region. The corona boundaries decompose the non-volatilized contaminants remaining in the region. The hexagonal arrangement of electrodesmore » is also preferable for measuring resistivity and moisture content of the earthen material. The electric field created between the electrodes is readily discernable and therefore facilitates accurate measurements.« less
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. (Richland, WA)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Battelle Pacific Northwest Labs (Richland, WA) PNNL
Patent Number(s):
US 5347070
Contract Number:
Research Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
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