Mass removal and low-concentration tailing of trichloroethene in freshly-amended, synthetically-aged, and field-contaminated aquifer material

G. R. Johnson, D. K. Norris, M. L. Brusseau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates the effect of contaminant aging on the sorption/desorption and transport of trichloroethene in a low organic-carbon content aquifer material, comparing mass removal and long-term, low-concentration elution tailing for field-contaminated, synthetically-aged (contact times of approximately four years), and freshly-amended aquifer material. Elution of trichloroethene exhibited extensive low-concentration tailing, despite minimal retention of trichloroethene by the aquifer material. The observed nonideal transport behavior of trichloroethene is attributed primarily to rate-limited sorption/desorption, with a smaller contribution from nonlinear sorption. It is hypothesized that interaction with physically condensed carbonaceous material, comprising 61% of the aquifer material's organic-carbon content, mediates the retention behavior of trichloroethene. The elution behavior of trichloroethene for the field-contaminated and aged treatments was essentially identical to that observed for the fresh treatments. In addition, the results of three independent mass-balance analyses, total mass eluted, solvent-extraction analysis of residual sorbed mass, and aqueous-phase concentration rebounds following stop-flow experiments, showed equivalent recoveries for the aged and fresh treatments. These results indicate that long-term contaminant aging did not significantly influence the retention and transport of trichloroethene in this low organic-carbon aquifer material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-548
Number of pages7
JournalChemosphere
Volume75
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009

Keywords

  • Contaminant aging
  • Kerogen
  • Low organic carbon
  • Trichloroethene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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