The residual buildup and treatment of dissolved contaminants in low permeable zones (LPZs) is a particularly challenging issue for injection-based remedial treatments. Our objective was to improve the sweeping efficiency of permanganate into LPZs to treat dissolved-phase TCE. This was accomplished by conducting transport experiments that quantified the ability of xanthan-MnO 4- solutions to penetrate and cover (i.e., sweep) an LPZ that was surrounded by transmissive sands. By incorporating the non-Newtonian fluid xanthan with MnO4-, penetration of MnO 4- into the LPZ improved dramatically and sweeping efficiency reached 100% in fewer pore volumes. To quantify how xanthan improved TCE removal, we spiked the LPZ and surrounding sands with 14C- lableled TCE and used a multistep flooding procedure that quantified the mass of 14C-TCE oxidized and bypassed during treatment. Results showed that TCE mass removal was 1.4 times greater in experiments where xanthan was employed. Combining xanthan with MnO4- also reduced the mass of TCE in the LPZ that was potentially available for rebound. By coupling a multiple species reactive transport model with the Brinkman equation for non-Newtonian flow, the simulated amount of 14C-TCE oxidized during transport matched experimental results. These observations support the use of xanthan as a means of enhancing MnO4- delivery into LPZs for the treatment of dissolved-phase TCE.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry