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The follow definitions are used in the description of the cleanup technologies

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capillary fringeThe zone immediately above the water table, where rocks and soil are saturated, but at pressure that is less than atmospheric. Water is held in this zone by capillary forces and cannot be removed by a well.
carbon adsorptionA treatment system that removes contaminants from groundwater or vapor as the fluid is forced through tanks containing activated carbon. See technology descriptions of Liquid-phase GAC and Vapor-phase Activated Carbon.
cationIons with a positive charge.
CERCLAThe Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of
chemical dehalogenationA chemical process that removes halogens (usually chlorine) from a chemical contaminant, rendering the contaminant less hazardous. See technology description of Dehalogenation.
CiAn abbreviation for Curie, a measure of radioactivity. A Curie is defined as the amount of radiation emitted in one second by one gram of pure radium. It is 3.7x1010 disintegrations per second.
cleanupActions taken to control a release or threat of release of hazardous substance that could affect public health or the environment.
coagulationCoagulation refers to aggregation of smaller particles. This process is enhanced by the addition of chemical coagulants.
cometaboliteAn enzyme produced by microbiological metabolism that aids degradation of a contaminant. See technology description of Cometabolism.
Commercially available technologyA technology for which cost and performance information is readily available. Only after a technology has been used at many different sites and the results fully documented is that technology considered established.
compostBiological reduction of organic waste to humus. See technology description of Composting.
cone of depressionA depression in the surface of groundwater table that develops around a well from which water is being withdrawn.
confining layerA geologic formation characterized by low permeability that inhibits the flow of water.
congenerA member of the same kind, class, or group. For example, PCBs have many cogeners because they are chemicals with similar characteristics but may have a different order or number of chlorine atoms.
contaminantA chemical that degrades the natural quality of substance or media.
corrosive wastesWastes that are so acidic or alkaline that they are capable of corroding metal such as tanks, containers, drums, and barrels. Corrosiveness is one of four characteristics that define a waste as hazardous under RCRA.
creosoteAn oily liquid obtained by the distillation of wood that is used as a wood preservative and often is found at wood preserving sites.

Note: A majority of the terms and definitions are based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Innovative Technology Glossary . Some definitions have been modified/enhanced to support the Tech Tree text.

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This page was last updated OCTOBER 26, 1998
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