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Abstract

MIN3P, a multicomponent reactive transport model for variably saturated porous media, is used to simulate the outputs of column tests carried out using zero valent iron (ZVI) for nickel contaminated groundwater remediation. The objective of this study is to investigate the main chemical reactions involved in contaminant removal and the main causes of the reactivity decline of ZVI over time. According to the results of the model the major causes of ZVI reactivity loss is identified in the mineral precipitation of α-FeOOH on iron surface that probably caused ZVI passivation and led to a decline of the electron transfer rate. An existing empirical relationship between mineral precipitation and the reactivity loss of ZVI, included in the model, reproduced the changes in nickel removal observed during different laboratory column tests.