The presence of organic immiscible liquids such as chlorinated solvents and fuels continues to be a primary source of risk for many hazardous waste sites. In this study, the standard miscible-displacement interfacial partitioning tracer test (IPTT) method was used for the first time to measure NAPL-water interfacial areas for a range of saturations. Multiple measurements were conducted for a natural quartz sand, with tetrachloroethene as the representative NAPL. The interfacial areas increased with decreasing water saturation. The measurements compared well to interfacial areas measured for the same sand with two alternative tracer methods, the mass-distribution batch method and the two-phase flow method. Measurements obtained with all three tracer-based methods exhibit a relatively large degree of variability. Thus, it is important to employ replication when using these methods. In contrast, interfacial areas measured with x-ray microtomography exhibit very small variability. However, the measured interfacial areas do not capture the contribution of surface-roughness to film-associated interfacial area. Each method has associated advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to be cognizant of them during their application.
- Mass transfer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis