VOC accumulation and pore filling in unsaturated porous media

Timothy L. Corley, James Farrell, Bei Hong, Martha H. Conklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A series of unsaturated column experiments was conducted to study different grain-scale accumulation mechanisms affecting total uptake of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) onto a model solid and subsequent removal of VOCs from the porous media. Experimental variables included VOC (benzene, methylbenzene, 1,4-dimethylbenzene, and 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene), moisture content (primarily water-unsaturated conditions), and influent VOC concentration. Calculations of the mass distributions of benzene indicated that it was primarily in the aqueous and air phases with a small fraction at the airwater interface. Similar calculations for the other VOCs indicated that greater than 50% of the accumulated mass of these VOCs was located within intraparticle pores and on the substrate surface. Analysis of the sorption data in terms of a pore-filling model support the hypothesis that a capillary phase separation (CPS) process occurred within the pores and produced a neat, separate VOC phase. We suggest that CPS will become more critical in materials with small mesopores or micropores, and that it is partly responsible for the existence of a resistant fraction of VOCs present within water-filled intraparticle pores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2884-2891
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume30
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

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Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile organic compounds
volatile organic compound
Porous materials
porous medium
Benzene
Phase separation
benzene
Xylenes
Water
Sorption
moisture content
Moisture
sorption
substrate
water
air
Substrates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

VOC accumulation and pore filling in unsaturated porous media. / Corley, Timothy L.; Farrell, James; Hong, Bei; Conklin, Martha H.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 30, No. 10, 1996, p. 2884-2891.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Corley, Timothy L. ; Farrell, James ; Hong, Bei ; Conklin, Martha H. / VOC accumulation and pore filling in unsaturated porous media. In: Environmental Science and Technology. 1996 ; Vol. 30, No. 10. pp. 2884-2891.
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