EVALUATION OF ENHANCED VOC REMOVAL WITH SOIL FRACTURING IN THE SRS UPLAND UNIT

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The Environmental Restoration Technology Section (ERTS) of the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) conducted pilot scale testing to evaluate the effectiveness of using hydraulic fracturing as a means to improve soil vapor extraction (SVE) system performance. Laboratory and field research has shown that significant amounts of solvents can be entrapped in low permeability zones by capillary forces and removal by SVE can be severely limited due to low flow rates, mass transfer resistance of the hydrophobic compounds by trapped interparticle water, and diffusion resistance. Introducing sand-filled fractures into these tight zones improves the performance of SVE by (1) increasing the ... continued below

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Riha, B October 31, 2005.

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The Environmental Restoration Technology Section (ERTS) of the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) conducted pilot scale testing to evaluate the effectiveness of using hydraulic fracturing as a means to improve soil vapor extraction (SVE) system performance. Laboratory and field research has shown that significant amounts of solvents can be entrapped in low permeability zones by capillary forces and removal by SVE can be severely limited due to low flow rates, mass transfer resistance of the hydrophobic compounds by trapped interparticle water, and diffusion resistance. Introducing sand-filled fractures into these tight zones improves the performance of SVE by (1) increasing the overall permeability of the formation and thereby increasing SVE flow rates, (2) shortening diffusion pathways, and (3) increasing air permeability by improving pore water removal. The synergistic effect of the fracture well completion methods, fracture and flow geometry, and pore water removal appears to increase the rate of solvent mass removal over that of increasing flow rate alone. A field test was conducted where a conventional well in the SRS Upland Unit was tested before and after hydraulic fracturing. ERTS teamed with Clemson University through the South Carolina University and Education Foundation (SCUREF) program utilizing their expertise in fracturing and fracture modeling. The goals of the fracturing pilot testing were to evaluate the following: (1) The effect of hydraulic fractures on the performance of a conventional well. This was the most reliable way to remove the effects of spatial variations in permeability and contaminant distribution on relative well performance. It also provided data on the option of improving the performance of existing wells using hydraulic fractures. (2) The relative performance of a conventional SVE well and isolated hydraulic fractures. This was the most reliable indicator of the performance of hydraulic fractures that could be created in a full-scale implementation. The SVE well, monitoring point arrays and four fracturing wells were installed and the well testing has been completed. Four fractures were successfully created the week of July 25, 2005. The fractures were created in an open area at the bottom of steel well casing by using a water jet to create a notch in the soil and then injecting a guar-sand slurry into the formation. The sand-filled fractures increase the effective air permeability of the subsurface formation diffusion path lengths for contaminant removal. The primary metrics for evaluation were an increase in SVE flow rates in the zone of contamination and an increase in the zone of influence. Sufficient testing has been performed to show that fracturing in the Upland Unit accelerates SVE solvent remediation and fracturing can increase flow rates in the Upland Unit by at least one order of magnitude.

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  • Report No.: WSRC-TR-2005-00415
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-96SR18500
  • DOI: 10.2172/890188 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 890188
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc876907

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • October 31, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 2, 2016, 12:49 p.m.

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Riha, B. EVALUATION OF ENHANCED VOC REMOVAL WITH SOIL FRACTURING IN THE SRS UPLAND UNIT, report, October 31, 2005; [Aiken, South Carolina]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc876907/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.