Study: In-Situ Vitrification Project

Study for: High Temperature Remediation of Contaminated Soil - Gas Works Park, Seattle, WA 1984

This project was proposed to the Seattle Art Commission in 1984. The project was not completed.
Image above is a 2009 reconstruction of the original 1984 study.

Proposed is to work with engineers to preform a series of “choreographies” with the fusion process and fused materials created by the process of IN-SITU VITRIFICATION. Selected areas of potentially contaminated soil at Gas Works Park would be fused into glass using the in-situ vitrification process developed by Battelle-Pacific Northwest Laboratories in Richland, WA in the early 1970’s for the remediation of soil contaminated by nuclear and industrial waste. The heating of the soil is accomplished by joule heating electrodes inserted directly into the contaminated soil powered by high-tension electrical lines resulting in temperatures as high as 1700 C. The final product is a dense, glass-like material in blocks weighing over 20,000 lbs. (9100 kg) in which the contaminates are broken down, encapsulated and rendered inert.

The “choreography” of this process could include:

- Scale, layout and timing of the fusion sites and operations.
- Whole and partial excavation of the fused blocks with access to special fusion areas.
- Removal and display of the blocks in proximate and remote sites.
- A ‘parade’ of blocks/equipment through the City of Seattle on trucks or heavy equipment.

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