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Measurement of the apparent diffusion coefficient of trichloroethylene in soil

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Measurements of in-soil diffusion coefficients and the application of an appropriate diffusional model can allow for a more accurate prediction of soil gas concentrations and movement to locate subterranean contamination. The present study was undertaken to measure and evaluate the “apparent in-soil diffusion coefficient” for trichloroethylene (TCE) through soil columns. The term “apparent in-soil diffusion coefficient” refers to a numerical coefficient that primarily describes the movement of the material by diffusion but also contains effects due to other mechanisms (for example, adsorption and solubility).

Six trichloroethylene columns were evaluated at three porosity levels ranging from 0.29 to 0.43. Soil columns measured 25.4 cm in diameter by 84 cm in height and contained a moist sand/silt/clay mixture. The numerical range for apparent in-soil diffusion coefficients for trichloroethylene was 0.254 × 10−3 cm2/sec to 1.986 × 10−3 cm2/sec, with the larger values being associated with higher soil porosity levels.

Keywords: coefficients; diffusion; model; porosity; soil; trichloroethylene

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1992-01-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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