Final Technical Report for DOE Award DE-FG02-07ER64403 [Modeling of Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation for the Immobilization of Strontium-90 Using a Variable Velocity Streamtube Ensemble]
Description: Biogeochemical modeling using PHREEQC2 and a streamtube ensemble approach is utilized to understand a well-to-well subsurface treatment system at the Vadose Zone Research Park (VZRP) near Idaho Falls, Idaho. Treatment involves in situ microbially-mediated ureolysis to induce calcite precipitation for the immobilization of strontium-90. PHREEQC2 is utilized to model the kinetically-controlled ureolysis and consequent calcite precipitation. Reaction kinetics, equilibrium phases, and cation exchange are used within PHREEQC2 to track pH and levels of calcium, ammonium, urea, and calcite precipitation over time, within a series of one-dimensional advective-dispersive transport paths creating a streamtube ensemble representation of the well-to-well transport. An understanding of the impact of physical heterogeneities within this radial flowfield is critical for remediation design; we address this via the streamtube approach: instead of depicting spatial extents of solutes in the subsurface we focus on their arrival distribution at the control well(s). Traditionally, each streamtube maintains uniform velocity; however in radial flow in homogeneous media, the velocity within any given streamtube is spatially-variable in a common way, being highest at the input and output wells and approaching a minimum at the midpoint between the wells. This idealized velocity variability is of significance in the case of ureolytically driven calcite precipitation. Streamtube velocity patterns for any particular configuration of injection and withdrawal wells are available as explicit calculations from potential theory, and also from particle tracking programs. To approximate the actual spatial distribution of velocity along streamtubes, we assume idealized radial non-uniform velocity associated with homogeneous media. This is implemented in PHREEQC2 via a non-uniform spatial discretization within each streamtube that honors both the streamtube’s travel time and the idealized “fast-slow-fast” pattern of non-uniform velocity along the streamline. Breakthrough curves produced by each simulation are weighted by the path-respective flux fractions (obtained by deconvolution of tracer tests conducted at the VZRP) ...
Date: August 26, 2013
Creator: Ginn, Timothy R. & Weathers, Tess
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