Draining jet fuel from Navy planes, known as defueling, was a routine step before doing maintenance work on the planes. This defueling process at Alameda Point inadvertently contaminated groundwater at one location across the street from the Pottery Barn Outlet on West Oriskany Avenue. During February, the Navy’s cleanup contractor conducted a form of industrial-scale in-ground chemotherapy known as oxidation.
The injected chemical compound breaks apart the fuel molecules, turning them into harmless carbon dioxide, water, and oxygen. The main ingredient in this oxidation process is sodium percarbonate, the same active ingredient in OxyClean™ laundry whitener and stain remover, albeit with a different objective.Continue reading “Jet fuel cleanup relies on laundry detergent booster”