Journal of Environmental Management
Place of Publication
School of Engineering
Remediating sites contaminated with light non-aqueous phase liquids (LNAPLs) is a demanding and often prolonged task. It is vital to determine when it is appropriate to cease engineered remedial efforts based on the long-term effectiveness of remediation technology options. For the first time, the long term effectiveness of a range of LNAPL remediation approaches including skimming and vacuum-enhanced skimming each with and without water table drawdown was simulated through a multi-phase and multi-component approach. LNAPL components of gasoline were simulated to show how component changes affect the LNAPL's multi-phase behaviour and to inform the risk profile of the LNAPL. The four remediation approaches along with five types of soils, two states of the LNAPL specific mass and finite and infinite LNAPL plumes resulted in 80 simulation scenarios. Effective conservative mass removal endpoints for all the simulations were determined. As a key driver of risk, the persistence and mass removal of benzene was investigated across the scenarios. The time to effectively achieve a technology endpoint varied from 2 to 6 years. The recovered LNAPL in the liquid phase varied from 5% to 53% of the initial mass. The recovered LNAPL mass as extracted vapour was also quantified. Additional mass loss through induced biodegradation was not determined. Across numerous field conditions and release incidents, graphical outcomes provide conservative (i.e. more prolonged or greater mass recovery potential) LNAPL remediation endpoints for use in discussing the halting or continuance of engineered remedial efforts.
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