Surfactant-Enhanced Permanganate Oxidation on Mass-Flux Reduction and Mass Removal (MFR-MR) Relationship for Pool-Dominated TCE Source Zones in Heterogeneous Porous Media


WATER AIR AND SOIL POLLUTION, vol.229, no.8, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 229 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11270-018-3946-3


Chlorinated solvents generally enter the subsurface as dense nonaqueous phase liquids (DNAPL) and accumulation mostly occurs in aquifers as pool-dominated zones that can cause long-term aqueous phase groundwater contamination. In situ remediation of DNAPL source zones in such systems is crucial for protecting and/or restoring groundwater quality in these aquifer systems having significant groundwater potential. The objective of the project was to investigate the surfactant-enhanced permanganate oxidation efficacy for pool-dominated DNAPL source zones in heterogeneous aquifer media. A complementary objective of this study was to investigate the impact of nonuniform distribution of DNAPL source zones, surfactant-enhanced dissolution and surfactant-enhanced permanganate oxidation conditions on mass-flux reduction/mass-removal behavior relationships. A series of 2-D flow-cell tank experiments using various grain sizes silica sand and natural soil were conducted as part of this study. DNAPL trichloroethene (TCE) was used as a chlorinated solvent, and SDS (sodium dodecyl sulfate) and KMnO4 (potassium permanganate) were used as anionic surfactant and oxidant (remediation agents), respectively. The results were compared with a water-flooding experiment to test the remediation effort. Although, high fractions of TCE source zones in the heterogeneous porous media were removed by sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-enhanced flushing, TCE removal in this system exhibited an extended multi-step concentration elution behavior. This nonideal behavior was observed for both the water-flood and SDS-flushing experiments. The results emphasized that in the early stage, some portion of the organic liquid is hydraulically accessible (matrix) whereas the later stage of mass removal was controlled by the more poorly accessible mass (pool) associated with higher saturation zones. Our results also showed that the distribution and the emplacement of organic liquid and flow-field heterogeneity had a significant influence on remediation and removal for both flushing solution (SDS and water). It was postulated that when SDS/MnO4 was applied with sufficient dosage and provided enough contact time, pool-dominated source zones could be remediated more efficiently compared to surfactant flushing alone. As a result, the performance of technology depends on the site characteristics which are critical to characterize effective DNAPL remediation strategies for contaminated sites.