The vapor-phase multi-stage CMD test for characterizing contaminant mass discharge associated with VOC sources in the vadose zone: Application to three sites in different lifecycle stages of SVE operations

M. L. Brusseau, J. Mainhagu, C. Morrison, K. C. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vapor-phase multi-stage contaminant mass discharge (CMD) tests were conducted at three field sites to measure mass discharge associated with contaminant sources located in the vadose zone. The three sites represent the three primary stages of the soil vapor extraction (SVE) operations lifecycle - pre/initial-SVE, mid-lifecycle, and near-closure. A CMD of 32 g/d was obtained for a site at which soil vapor SVE has been in operation for approximately 6 years, and for which mass removal is currently in the asymptotic stage. The contaminant removal behavior exhibited for the vapor extractions conducted at this site suggests that there is unlikely to be a significant mass of non-vapor-phase contaminant (e.g., DNAPL, sorbed phase) remaining in the advective domains, and that most remaining mass is likely located in poorly accessible domains. Given the conditions for this site, this remaining mass is hypothesized to be associated with the low-permeability (and higher water saturation) region in the vicinity of the saturated zone and capillary fringe. A CMD of 25 g/d was obtained for a site wherein SVE has been in operation for several years but concentrations and mass-removal rates are still relatively high. A CMD of 270 g/d was obtained for a site for which there were no prior SVE operations. The behavior exhibited for the vapor extractions conducted at this site suggest that non-vapor-phase contaminant mass (e.g., DNAPL) may be present in the advective domains. Hence, the asymptotic conditions observed for this site most likely derive from a combination of rate-limited mass transfer from DNAPL (and sorbed) phases present in the advective domain as well as mass residing in lower-permeability ("non-advective") regions. The CMD values obtained from the tests were used in conjunction with a recently developed vapor-discharge tool to evaluate the impact of the measured CMDs on groundwater quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Contaminant Hydrology
Volume179
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 4 2015

Keywords

  • Groundwater
  • Mass flux
  • Remediation
  • SVE
  • VOC
  • Vapor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology

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