Author(s): Sleep BE, McClure PD
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Abstract A soil core, obtained from a contaminated field site, contaminated with a mixture of volatile and semivolatile organic compounds (VOC and SVOC) was subjected to air and steam flushing. Removal rates of volatile and semivolatile organic compounds were monitored during flushing. Air flushing removed a significant portion of the VOC present in the soil, but a significant decline in removal rate occurred due to decreasing VOC concentrations in the soil gas phase. Application of steam flushing after air flushing produced a significant increase in contaminant removal rate for the first 4 to 5 pore volumes of steam condensate. Subsequently, contaminant concentrations decreased slowly with additional pore volumes of steam flushing. The passage of a steam volume corresponding to 11 pore volumes of steam condensate reduced the total VOC concentration in the soil gas (at 20 degrees C) by a factor of 20 to 0.07 mg/l. The corresponding total SVOC concentration in the condensate declined from 11 to 3 mg/l. Declines in contaminant removal rates during both air and steam flushing indicated rate-limited removal consistent with the persistence of a residual organic phase, rate-limited desorption, or channeling. Pressure gradients were much higher for steam flushing than for air flushing. The magnitude of the pressure gradients encountered during steam flushing for this soil indicates that, in addition to rate-limited contaminant removal, the soil permeability (2.1 x 10(-9) cm2) would be a limiting factor in the effectiveness of steam flushing.
This article was published in J Contam Hydrol
and referenced in Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering