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The role of field trials in development and feasibility assessment of surfactant-enhanced aquifer remediation

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The development of surfactants for aquifer remediation involved simultaneous research at laboratory and field scale to expedite technology development. The results of field trials provided direction for laboratory research by identifying the critical parameters that limit performance while the results of laboratory research helped design and interpret the field trials. The combined field and laboratory work has identified the factors to be considered in a feasibility assessment of surfactant-enhanced remediation. The principal requirements are adequate hydraulic conductivity (> 10−6 m/s), the ability to attain hydraulic control and ability to control downward dissolved nonaqueous phase liquid migration. Field trials have demonstrated that surfactants can rapidly remove mass; however, because heterogeneities cause tailing in contamination removal, restoration to drinking water standards may not be achieved. Optimization of surfactant solution composition can increase the rate of mass removal and hence minimize cost. The fraction of mass removal, the level of contamination remaining and the cost of remediation using surfactants are all dependent upon a site's hydrogeology. Thus both minimization of cost and maximization of nonaqueous phase liquid removal requires detailed site characterization as well as optimization of surfactant solution composition. Field trials provide an essential component both in technology development and detailed feasibility studies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1997-03-01

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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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