In situ chemical reduction (ISCR) is a new type of environmental remediation technique used for soil and/or groundwater remediation to reduce the concentrations of targeted environmental contaminants to acceptable levels. It is the mirror process of In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO). ISCR is usually applied in the environment by injecting chemically reductive additives in liquid form into the contaminated area or placing a solid medium of chemical reductants in the path of a contaminant plume. It can be used to remediate a variety of organic compounds, including some that are resistant to natural degradation.
The in situ in ISCR is just Latin for "in place", signifying that ISCR is a chemical reduction reaction that occurs at the site of the contamination. Like ISCO, it is able to decontaminate many compounds, and, in theory, ISCR could be more effective in ground water remediation than ISCO.
Chemical reduction is one half of a redox reaction, which results in the gain of electrons. One of the reactants in the reaction becomes oxidized, or loses electrons, while the other reactant becomes reduced, or gains electrons. In ISCR, reducing compounds, compounds that accept electrons given by other compounds in a reaction, are used to change the contaminants into harmless compounds.