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J Hazard Mater. 2007 Apr 2;142(1-2):315-23. Epub 2006 Aug 12.

Air flow paths and porosity/permeability change in a saturated zone during in situ air sparging.

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Department of Environment and Resources Engineering, Diwan College of Management, No. 87-1, Nansh Li, Madou, Tainan, Taiwan.


This study develops methods to estimate the change in soil characteristics and associated air flow paths in a saturated zone during in situ air sparging. These objectives were achieved by performing combined in situ air sparging and tracer testing, and comparing the breakthrough curves obtained from the tracer gas with those obtained by a numerical simulation model that incorporates a predicted change in porosity that is proportional to the air saturation. The results reveal that revising the porosity and permeability according to the distribution of gas saturation is helpful in breakthrough curve fitting, however, these changes are unable to account for the effects of preferential air flow paths, especially in the zone closest to the points of air injection. It is not known the extent to which these preferential air flow paths were already present versus created, increased, or reduced as a result of the air sparging experiment. The transport of particles from around the sparging well could account for the overall increase in porosity and permeability observed in the study. Collection of soil particles in a monitoring well within 2m of the sparging well provided further evidence of the transport of particles. Transport of particles from near the sparging well also appeared to decrease the radius of influence (ROI). Methods for predicting the effects of pressurized air injection and water flow on the creation or modification of preferential air flow paths are still needed to provide a full description of the change in soil conditions that accompany air sparging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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