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|Title:||Spontaneous expansion and mobilization of a discontinuous gas phase due to mass transfer from dense non-aqueous phase liquid|
|Other Titles:||SPONTANEOUS EXPANSION AND MOBILIZATION OF GAS ABOVE DNAPL|
|Authors:||Mumford, Kevin G.|
|Advisor:||Smith, James E.|
Dickson, Sarah E.
|Keywords:||groundwater contamination;environmental problem;gas phase expansion;DNAPL pools|
|Abstract:||<p>Groundwater contamination by dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs ), such as chlorinated solvents, continues to be a significant environmental problem. When released to the subsurface, either due to improper disposal or accidental release, DNAPLs can form complex source zones whose geometry is largely controlled by the geological heterogeneity of the subsurface. These source zones are composed of disconnected, immobile blobs or ganglia trapped by capillary forces (referred to as DNAPL residual) between high-saturation regions located at permeability interfaces (referred to as DNAPL pools). The slow dissolution of DNAPL pools can result in the contamination of groundwater for time periods on the order of decades to centuries.</p> <p>The common conceptual model used in the investigation of DNAPL-contaminated sites is based primarily on the mass transfer from DNAPL to the surrounding aqueous phase in the saturated zone. However, the presence of a discontinuous gas phase above a DNAPL pool can significantly affect the mass transfer from the pool through repeated, spontaneous expansion and mobilization of the gas phase. This mechanism has not been included in the common conceptual models.</p> <p>The goal of this research was to develop a quantitative understanding of discontinuous gas phase expansion and mobilization above a DNAPL pool. This goal was addressed using a combination of small-scale and intermediate-scale laboratory experiments. Small-scale, no-flow vial experiments were used to measure the expansion of single gas bubbles above DNAPL pools, and provide the basis for the development of an analytical model to assess the effect of expansion by multi-component partitioning on the mass transfer from DNAPL pools. Small-scale flow cell experiments were used to measure spontaneous expansion rates in porous media, and provide visual data concerning the distribution of the gas phase. Small-scale air injection experiments were used to characterize the gas flow. Finally, an intermediate-scale flow cell experiment was used to provide larger-scale data concerning the transient distribution of the gas phase, and measure the effect of spontaneous expansion and mobilization on the aqueous-phase DNAPL constituent concentrations.</p> <p>The combined results of these experiments established a detailed conceptual model for the spontaneous expansion and mobilization of a discontinuous gas phase above a DNAPL pool. In this conceptual model, spontaneous expansion of a discontinuous gas phase above a DNAPL pool occurs due to multi-component partitioning, and depends on the concentrations of both the volatile DNAPL and the other dissolved gases. This expansion is more likely to occur, and will be faster, in shallower systems (i.e. lower hydrostatic pressures) containing coarser media (i.e. lower capillary pressures), more volatile DNAPL, and higher concentrations of other dissolved gases (i.e. higher partial pressures). Mobilization of the expanding gas will occur as discontinuous gas flow in most sands, where the repeated trapping and coalescence of gas clusters can allow rapid, large-scale vertical transport of the gas phase. This discontinuous gas flow can produce macroscopic gas fingers composed of multiple, discrete gas clusters. These macroscopic fingers can reach substantial heights above the pool surface, but the growth occurs predominantly at the pool's leading edge due to the stripping of other dissolved gases. This expansion and mobilization can significantly affect the mass transfer from the DNAPL pool if the gas phase is in direct contact with the pool surface; or if the gas phase is close to the pool surface, covers a large fraction of the pool, and the groundwater flow is sufficiently slow. The partitioning of DNAPL constituent from the mobilized gas phase to the aqueous phase well above the pool surface can also change the spatial distribution of aqueous-phase DNAPL constituent concentrations, increasing them above those that are expected based on theoretical calculations for strictly DNAPL-water systems, even at elevations where the concentrations are expected to be zero. The increased concentrations well above the pool surface can appear as short-duration events in the presence of a sustained gas phase, due to the partitioning of DNAPL constituents from the gas to the aqueous phase during multi-component mass transfer. The results of this research provide the necessary basis to begin incorporating this fundamental mechanism into the conceptual and mathematical models used for DNAPL-related research, the investigation ofDNAPL-contaminated sites, and the design and application of DNAPL remediation technologies.</p>|
|Description:||Included in this file is a CD drive titled "Chapter Three: Supporting Information" with a 00:40 second long animation. For best quality, view in VLC, not Quicktime Player.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Mumford Kevin G..pdf||Main Thesis||34.14 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
|Mumford Thesis Chapter 3 Supporting Information - Animation.avi||Mumford Kevin G. "Chapter 3: Supporting Information" Animation 00:40 seconds||179.77 MB||Unknown||View/Open|
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