DOE-EMSP Final Report: Characterization of Changes in Colloid and DNAPL Affecting Surface Chemistry and Remediation

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The waste disposal to the M-area basin and A-14 outfall at the Savannah River Department of Energy facility in Aiken SC (USA) included a wide variety of inorganic aqueous flows and organic solvents in the form of dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPL). The DNAPL has migrated through the subsurface resulting in widespread groundwater contamination. The goal of this research was to identify and quantify processes that could have affected the migration and remediation of the DNAPL in the subsurface. It was hypothesized that the variety of waste disposed at this site could have altered the mineral, microbial and DNAPL properties ... continued below

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Powers, Susan E.; Grimberg, Stefan J. & Denham, Miles February 7, 2007.

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The waste disposal to the M-area basin and A-14 outfall at the Savannah River Department of Energy facility in Aiken SC (USA) included a wide variety of inorganic aqueous flows and organic solvents in the form of dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPL). The DNAPL has migrated through the subsurface resulting in widespread groundwater contamination. The goal of this research was to identify and quantify processes that could have affected the migration and remediation of the DNAPL in the subsurface. It was hypothesized that the variety of waste disposed at this site could have altered the mineral, microbial and DNAPL properties at this site relative to other DNAPL sites. The DNAPL was determined to have a very low interfacial tension and is suspected to be distributed in fine grained media, thereby reducing the effectiveness of soil vapor extraction remediation efforts. Although the DNAPL is primarily comprised of tetrachloroethene and trichloroethane, it also contains organic acids and several heavy metals. Experimental results suggest that iron from the aqueous and DNAPL phases undergoes precipitation and dechlorination reactions at the DNAPL-water interface, contributing to the low interfacial tension and acidity of the DNAPL. Biological activity in the contaminated region can also contribute to the low interfacial tension. PCE degrading bacteria produce biosurfactants and adhere to the DNAPL-water interface when stressed by high tetrachloroethene or low dissolved oxygen concentrations. The presence of iron can reduce the interfacial tension by nearly an order of magnitude, while the PCE degraders reduced the interfacial tension by nearly 50%. Abiotic changes in the mineral characteristics were not found to be substantially different between contaminated and background samples. The research completed here begins to shed some insight into the complexities of DNAPL fate and migration at sites where co-disposal of many different waste products occurred. Quantifying the low interfacial tension of the SRS DNAPL helps to formulate a new conceptual picture of the subsurface DNAPL migration and provides an explanation of the limited effectiveness of remediation efforts. Alternative designs for remediation that are more effective for sites with DNAPL in fine grained media are required.

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  • Report No.: DOE/ER/63660
  • Grant Number: FG02-03ER63660
  • DOI: 10.2172/899135 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 899135
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc890082

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  • February 7, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 1, 2016, 10:49 a.m.

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Powers, Susan E.; Grimberg, Stefan J. & Denham, Miles. DOE-EMSP Final Report: Characterization of Changes in Colloid and DNAPL Affecting Surface Chemistry and Remediation, report, February 7, 2007; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc890082/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.