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Environ Sci Technol. 2007 Feb 15;41(4):1432-8.

Reactive transport modeling of trichloroethene treatment with declining reactivity of iron.

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  • 1Department of Earth Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.


Evolving reactivity of iron, resulting from precipitation of secondary minerals within iron permeable reactive barriers (PRBs), was included in a reactive transport model for trichloroethene (TCE) treatment. The accumulation of secondary minerals and reactivity loss were coupled using an empirically derived relationship that was incorporated into an existing multicomponent reactive transport code (MIN3P) by modifying the kinetic expressions. The simulation results were compared to the observations from long-term column experiments, which were designed to assess the effects of carbonate mineral formation on the performance of iron for TCE treatment. The model successfully reproduced the evolution of iron reactivity and the dynamic changes in geochemical conditions and contaminant treatment. Predictions under various hydrogeochemical conditions showed that TCE would be treated effectively for an extended period of time without a significant loss of permeability. Although there are improvements yet to be made, this study provides a significant advance in our ability to predict long-term performance of iron PRBs.

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