Impact of organic-liquid distribution and flow-field heterogeneity on reductions in mass flux

Erica L. Difilippo, Kenneth C. Carroll, Mark L. Brusseau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

A series of flow-cell experiments was conducted to investigate the impact of organic-liquid distribution and flow-field heterogeneity on the relationship between source-zone mass removal and reductions in contaminant mass flux from the source zone. Changes in source-zone architecture were quantified using image analysis, allowing explicit examination of their impact on the mass-flux-reduction/mass-removal behavior. The results showed that there was minimal reduction in mass flux until a large fraction of mass was removed for systems wherein organic liquid was present solely as residual saturation in regions that were hydraulically accessible. Conversely, significant reductions in mass flux occurred with relatively minimal mass removal for systems wherein organic liquid was present at both residual and higher saturations. The latter systems exhibited multi-step mass-flux-reduction/mass-removal behavior, and characterization of the organic-liquid saturation distribution throughout flushing allowed identification of the cause of the nonideal behavior. The age of the source zone (e.g., extent of mass removal prior to characterization) significantly influenced the observed mass-flux-reduction/mass-removal behavior. The results of this study illustrate the impact of both organic-liquid distribution and flow-field heterogeneity on mass-removal and mass-flux processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-25
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Contaminant Hydrology
Volume115
Issue number1-4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 25 2010

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Keywords

  • Dissolution
  • Mass flux
  • Mass transfer
  • NAPL
  • Source zones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology

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