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An analytical model for in situ extraction of organic vapors

Journal of Hazardous Materials

By:
and
DOI: 10.1016/0304-3894(91)85026-J

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Abstract

This paper introduces a simple convective-flow model that can be used as a screening tool and for conducting sensitivity analyses for in situ vapor extraction of organic compounds from porous media. An assumption basic to this model was that the total mass of volatile organic chemicals (VOC) exists in three forms: as vapors, in the soil solution, and adsorbed to soil particles. The equilibrium partitioning between the vapor-liquid phase was described by Henry's law constants (K(H)) and between the liquid-soil phase by soil adsorption constants (K(d)) derived from soil organic carbon-water partition coefficients (K(oc)). The model was used to assess the extractability of 36 VOCs from a hypothetical site. Most of the VOCs appeared to be removable from soil by this technology, although modeling results suggested that rates for the alcohols and ketones may be very slow. In general, rates for weakly adsorbed compounds (K(oc) < 100 mL/g) were significantly higher when K(H) was greater than 10-4 atm??m3??mol-1. When K(oc) was greater than about 100 mL/g, the rates of extraction were sensitive to the amount of organic carbon present in the soil. The air permeability of the soil material (k) was a critical factor. In situ extraction needs careful evaluation when k is less than 10 millidarcies to determine its applicability. An increase in the vacuum applied to an extraction well accelerated removal rates but the diameter of the well had little effect. However, an increase in the length of the well screen open to the contaminated zone significantly affected removal rates, especially in low-permeability materials.This paper introduces a simple convective-flow model that can be used as a screening tool and for conducting sensitivity analyses for in situ vapor extraction of organic compounds from porous media. An assumption basic to this model was that the total mass of volatile organic chemicals (VOC) exists in three forms: as vapors, in the soil solution, and adsorbed to soil particles. The equilibrium partitioning between the vapor-liquid phase was described by Henry's law constants (KH) and between the liquid-soil phase by soil adsorption constants (Kd) derived from soil organic carbon-water partition coefficients (Koc). The model was used to assess the extractability of 36 VOCs from a hypothetical site. Most of the VOCs appeared to be removable from soil by this technology, although modeling results suggested that rates for the alcohols and ketones may be very slow. In general, rates for weakly adsorbed compounds (Koc < 100 mL/g) were significantly higher when KH was greater than 10-4atm-m3-mol-1. When Koc was greater than about 100 mL/g, the rates of extraction were sensitive to the amount of organic carbon present in the soil. The air permeability of the soil material (k) was a critical factor. In situ extraction needs careful evaluation when k is less than 10 millidarcies to determine its applicability. An increase in the vacuum applied to an extraction well accelerated removal rates but the diameter of the well had little effect. However, an increase in the length of the well screen open to the contaminated zone significantly affected removal rates, especially in low-permeability materials.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
An analytical model for in situ extraction of organic vapors
Series title:
Journal of Hazardous Materials
DOI:
10.1016/0304-3894(91)85026-J
Volume
26
Issue:
3
Year Published:
1991
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Hazardous Materials
First page:
301
Last page:
317