Free-product plume distribution and recovery modeling prediction in a diesel-contaminated volcanic aquifer



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Hernández Espriú, Antonio and Martínez Santos, Pedro and Sánchez León, Emilio and Marín, Luis E. (2012) Free-product plume distribution and recovery modeling prediction in a diesel-contaminated volcanic aquifer. Physics and chemistry of the earth, 37-39 . pp. 43-51. ISSN 1474-7065

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Light non-aqueous phase liquids (LNAPL) represent one of the most serious problems in aquifers contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons liquids. To design an appropriate remediation strategy it is essential to understand the behavior of the plume. The aim of this paper is threefold: (1) to characterize the fluid distribution of an LNAPL plume detected in a volcanic low-conductivity aquifer (∼0.4 m/day from slug tests interpretation), (2) to simulate the recovery processes of the free-product contamination and (3) to evaluate the primary recovery efficiency of the following alternatives: skimming, dual-phase extraction, Bioslurping and multi-phase extraction wells. The API/Charbeneau analytical model was used to investigate the recovery feasibility based on the geological properties and hydrogeological conditions with a multi-phase (water, air, LNAPL) transport approach in the vadose zone. The modeling performed in this research, in terms of LNAPL distribution in the subsurface, show that oil saturation is 7% in the air–oil interface, with a maximum value of 70% in the capillary fringe. Equilibrium between water and LNAPL phases is reached at a depth of 1.80 m from the air–oil interface. On the other hand, the LNAPL recovery model results suggest a remarkable enhancement of the free-product recovery when simultaneous extra-phase extraction was simulated from wells, in addition to the LNAPL lens. Recovery efficiencies were 27%, 65%, 66% and 67% for skimming, dual-phase extraction, Bioslurping and multi-phase extraction, respectively. During a 3-year simulation, skimmer wells and multi-phase extraction showed the lowest and highest LNAPL recovery rates, with expected values from 207 to 163 and 2305 to 707 l-LNAPL/day, respectively. At a field level we are proposing a well distribution arrangement that alternates pairs of dual-phase well-Bioslurping well. This not only improves the recovery of the free-product plume, but also pumps the dissolve plume and enhances in situ biodegradation in the vadose zone. Thus, aquifer and soil remediation can be achieved at a shorter time. Rough calculations suggest that LNAPL can be recovered at an approximate cost of $6–$10/l.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:LNAPL recovery; Oil saturation; Free-product modeling; Aquifer remediation.
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Geochemistry
Sciences > Geology > Seismology
Sciences > Geology > Hidrology
ID Code:66056
Deposited On:13 Jul 2021 05:48
Last Modified:13 Jul 2021 06:58

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