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Abstract

Volume reduction and lowering of capillary pressure within a large DNAPL pool are utilized as objectives in the design of a large-scale dual phase recovery system at a chemical manufacturing facility in the United States. By reducing DNAPL pool height through mass removal, capillary pressure is lowered, resulting in a reduced potential for future vertical and horizontal mobilization of the chlorinated solvent DNAPL pool. The DNAPL pool extends over an approximately 200 m by 275 m area in low permeability fill deposits overlying a clay aquitard. A three-dimensional multiphase flow model was employed to arrive at a final design incorporating nine horizontal drains (total length 664 m) and a pulsed pumping system. The numerical model was calibrated to the results of a 42-day field pilot-test involving the removal of approximately 25,000 L of DNAPL from a single, 55 m long horizontal drain. Numerical simulation revealed that gravity drainage, as opposed to hydraulic gradients in the water phase, is the dominant recovery mechanism at this site. This stems from the relatively high density and the viscosity of the DNAPL, and the relatively low permeability of the formation deposits. The use of pulsed pumping is shown to reduce the volume of contaminated ground water recovered from the 9-drain system, without significant reduction of the total volume of DNAPL recovered.