Matrix diffusion effects in the cleanup of heterogeneous aquifers
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Simple mathematical models are developed to account for the rather slow mass transport of nonaqueous phase liquid (NAPL) into aqueous solution in groundwater during flushing operations. The models are based on the assumption that this bottleneck in the process is associated with diffusion in the aqueous phase in the porous medium from the location of the NAPL drops/ganglia in a region of relatively low permeability out into a region of substantially higher permeability, somewhat analogous to diffusion from a block of porous rock into a nearby fracture, where the fracture system overwhelmingly dominates the overall permeability. The models include batch flushing, flushing in a laboratory column, and a one-dimensional model for flushing by means of a single recovery well.
KeywordsPermeability Phase Liquid Porous Medium Aqueous Phase Environmental Management
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