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Hydraulic Displacement of Dense Nonaqueous Phase Liquids for Source Zone Stabilization

Authors

  • Richards Alexandra,

    1. Department of Civil Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
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  • Jason I. Gerhard,

    1. Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.
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  • Bernard H. Kueper

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Civil Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
      Department of Civil Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; (613) 533-6834; fax: (613) 533-2128; kueper@civil.queensu.ca
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Department of Civil Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; (613) 533-6834; fax: (613) 533-2128; kueper@civil.queensu.ca

Abstract

Hydraulic displacement is a mass removal technology suitable for stabilization of a dense, nonaqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) source zone, where stabilization is defined as reducing DNAPL saturations and reducing the risk of future pool mobilization. High resolution three-dimensional multiphase flow simulations incorporating a spatially correlated, heterogeneous porous medium illustrate that hydraulic displacement results in an increase in the amount of residual DNAPL present, which in turn results in increased solute concentrations in groundwater, an increase in the rate of DNAPL dissolution, and an increase in the solute mass flux. A higher percentage of DNAPL recovery is associated with higher initial DNAPL release volumes, lower density DNAPLs, more heterogeneous porous media, and increased drawdown of groundwater at extraction wells. The fact that higher rates of recovery are associated with more heterogeneous porous media stems from the fact that larger contrasts in permeability provide for a higher proportion of capillary barriers upon which DNAPL pooling and lateral migration can occur. Across all scenarios evaluated in this study, the ganglia-to-pool (GTP) ratio generally increased from approximately 0.1 to between approximately 0.3 and 0.7 depending on the type of DNAPL, the degree of heterogeneity, and the imposed hydraulic gradient. The volume of DNAPL recovered as a result of implementing hydraulic displacement ranged from between 9.4% and 45.2% of the initial release volume, with the largest percentage recovery associated with 1,1,1 trichloroethane, the least dense of the three DNAPLs considered.

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