Manufactured Gas Plants (MGP)

What are Manufactured Gas Plants (MGP)?

manufactured gas plants

The history on manufactured gas plants: Prior to the development of natural gas pipeline distribution in the 1950’s, most American towns obtained gas fuels manufactured locally. This “manufactured gas” was produced by one of three processes; the capture of combustible gases generated by coal heating and distillation (coal carbonization or coal gas), spraying oil into water in a hot vessel to increase blue gas calories (carbonated water gas process), or by thermo-cracking oil in steam (oil gas process). At the turn of the 19th century, most sizable cities had their own manufactured gas plants, and from the 1850 – 1930s, MGPs were the main source for heating and lighting.

During peak use (~ 1920 – 1930’s), there were more than 10,000 such facilities in operation throughout the U.S. and Europe. In the 1950’s when pipeline networks were constructed, natural gas became widely available and thus eliminated the need for manufactured gas plants. The majority of these facilities were demolished and abandoned, and the land on which they were located became the property of various electric and gas utility companies.

manufactured gas plants

Geo-Solutions’ experience remediating Manufactured Gas Plants

The site remediation of Manufactured Gas Plant sites is a complex and challenging task due to the recalcitrant nature of the coal tar products and PAHs. Geo-Solutions has amassed considerable experience remediating manufactured gas plants over the past 20 years. Geo-Solutions has been a leader of implementing in-situ technologies at MGPs, particularly In-Situ Solidification / Stabilization (ISS) and Slurry Wall technologies. Geo-Solutions was one of the early pioneers of ISS work at MGP sites, implementing one of the first ISS projects at an MGP site located in central Georgia.

Geo-Solutions has continued to lead the industry by completing the initial ISS projects at MGP sites in multiple states, paving the way for the technology. Geo-Solutions has an excellent understanding of the complex subsurface obstacles and contaminants at manufactured gas plants, as well as the sensitive nature of most of the remediation projects. Historically most manufactured gas plants were located centrally to the communities that they served. This places them squarely in many town centers and neighborhoods. Many of the in-situ technologies that Geo-Solutions implements are advantageous as they assist in controlling emissions, odors and other nuisances such as disposal truck traffic through local neighborhoods.

In addition, Geo-Solutions has developed additional proactive means and methods to manage most equipment and operational noise, as well as dust and odors to lessen the impact to surrounding communities during remediation. At Geo-Solutions we believe there are lessons learned from every project and it is those lessons from manufactured gas plants that make us better seasoned and equipped to the handle complex challenges that these historic sites can provide.

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    Manufactured Gas Plant Case Studies

    Elizabeth, NJ – Jet Grouting Barrier Wall

    Jet Grouting Jet Grout Barrier Wall Elizabeth, New Jersey  Significant Project Features: Installation of 242 jet grout columns to a maximum depth of 34 feet below ground surface; Jet grouting within 2-feet of active underground utilities. Project site was located in an active facility and jet grouting production took place around active construction... read more
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    Greenfield, MA: Greenfield Remediation Project – Phase I

    Remedial Construction: The remediation project involved the construction of 14,995 vertical square foot Soil/Cement Mix Barrier Wall to contain coal tar NAPL from potentially migrating into an adjacent river. Description of Work: Geo-Solutions was contracted by Berkshire Gas to perform remedial construction at the site of a former Manufactured Gas Plant... read more
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    New Bedford, MA: Inner Slip Site Remediation

    Soil Mixing: 6,457 CY of soil up to 32 feet deep Description of Work: The purpose of this project was to use single auger soil mixing to solidify MGP impacted dredge sediments.  Geo-Solutions was subcontracted to complete all of the soil mixing work.  The soil mixing required the installation of one hundred and... read more
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    Sag Harbor, NY: Former Manufactured Gas Plant Site

    Project Features: Installation of 7,200 Cubic Yards (CY) of In-Situ Soil Mix Wall (SMW) by the Large Diameter Auger Shallow Soil Mixing Method (SSM) SMW installed with a combination of 7, 8 and 10-foot auger columns Spoils Handling Description of Work: The Sag Harbor Manufactured Gas Plant operated from 1859 to... read more
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    Cambridge, MA: Former MGP Site Jet Grouting

    Significant Project Features: Soil Stabilization of 1,200 Cubic Yards (CY) of impacted soil by Jet Grouting Method. Utility Location and pre-excavation by vacuum drilling method. Continuous real-time movement monitoring of major utilities and adjacent structures. Spoils handling Description of Work: Geo-Solutions was contracted to stabilize approximately 1,200 cubic yards (CY) of... read more
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    Chicago, IL: 22nd Street Station MGP Remedial Action Holder Containment

    Significant Project Features: Underground barrier installation via the Jet-Grouting method Numerous sensitive underground and above ground utility crossings Extreme cold weather conditions Fast-track scheduling Very confined site Background: This southwest Chicago site was historically utilized as a manufactured gas plant (MGP) by the Peoples Light and Gas Company.  MGPs manufactured gas from... read more
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    Plattsburgh, NY: Former Saranac Street Manufactured Gas Plant

    Description of Work: Geo-Solutions was subcontracted to install a soil-cement-bentonite stabilized soil barrier (SSB) around a former Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) site.  The site was occupied by an MGP facility from 1891 to 1960.  The facility structures were removed around 1980, leaving the contamination typical of MGP facilities, including large amounts... read more
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    Streator, IL: Former Manufactured Gas Plant Remediation

    Significant Project Features Trench excavation through bedrock Rerouting of the Vermillion river via the utilization of a Port-a-dam Treatment of groundwater and river water Management of potentially contaminated site water Installation of collection trench well sumps and head end of permanent water treatment system Background Geo-Solutions completed this award winning project... read more
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    Brooklyn, NY: Gowanus Canal Superfund Site

    Significant Project Features: Field and Laboratory evaluation of mix design and development for the project In Situ Solidification (ISS) of 1,850 CY sediments in a marine environment Work completed from a modular barge system Reagent batching from a modular barge system Logistics and unforeseen marine variables Sediment Surface was 18-22... read more
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    Two Rivers, WI: In-Situ Solidification of an MGP Site

    Significant Project Features: Excavation of 12,250 CY of soil and debris Subsurface demolition and removal of MGP structures 12 column, multiple reagent addition Pilot test In-situ solidification of 74,000 CY MGP impacted soil Site preparation and asbestos and gas pipe removal Surface Water Drainage Area Construction Restoration, Backfill, Topsoil... read more
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    Newark, NJ: Former Market Street Gas Works, PSE&G

    Significant Project Features: MGP Site Remediation; Used backhoe In-Situ Solidification/ Stabilization, maximum mixing depth of 16’ the working platform Restricted working area below surrounding ground surface Project site located along a busy urban street and main thoroughfare 100% Self-Performed Background: Geo-Solutions completed an in situ solidification/ stabilization (ISS) project at a... read more
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    Milford, MA: Milford Former MGP Site NStar Energy

    Significant Project Features: MGP Site Remediation; Used backhoe In Situ Solidification/ Stabilization, maximum mixing depth of 12 feet below ground surface Background: Geo-Solutions completed an In-Situ solidification / stabilization (ISS) project at a Former Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) located in downtown Milford, Massachusetts. The work included ISS of 10,500 cubic yards of... read more
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    Springfield, MA: Technology Demonstration Project

    Significant Project Features: Laboratory evaluation of mix design and development for the project In Situ Solidification (ISS) of sediments in a riverine environment Work completed from a modular barge system Sediment Surface was 16-18 feet from the top of the waterline Sediment thickness solidified was 8-17 feet Background: EPRI and multiple... read more
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    Milton, PA: Former Manufactured Gas Plant

    Significant Project Features: Stabilization of waste next to a road and creek Background: The Milton former MGP Site is located at 153 Filbert Street in the Borough of Milton, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania and was previously used for a Manufactured Gas Plant.  Project Objectives: Installation of a stabilized soil matrix in an area of... read more
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    Waukegan, IL: In-Situ Solidification of an MGP Site

    Significant Project Features: Excavation of 102,000 CY of soil and debris Subsurface demolition and removal of MGP structures Pilot test In-situ solidification of 299,590 CY MGP impacted soil Site preparation and Waste Drum Consolidation Restoration, Backfill, Topsoil and Seeding gravel cover On-site management of materials and spoils Description of Work: The former... read more
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    Homer, NY: Site Remediation at Former MGP Site

    Significant Project Features: Excavation of 8,000 CY of overburden for reuse Subsurface demolition and removal of MGP structures Steel Sheet Pile Vertical Barrier Wall installation Utility removal and reinstallation In-situ solidification of 57,000 CY MGP impacted soil Field demonstration test Permitting Site preparation and clearing Installation of 45,000 SF of... read more
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