Improving the treatment of non-aqueous phase TCE in low permeability zones with permanganate

Chanat Chokejaroenrat, Steve Comfort, Chainarong Sakulthaew, Bruce Dvorak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Treating dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs) embedded in low permeability zones (LPZs) is a particularly challenging issue for injection-based remedial treatments. Our objective was to improve the sweeping efficiency of permanganate (MnO4-) into LPZs to treat high concentrations of TCE. This was accomplished by conducting transport experiments that quantified the penetration of various permanganate flooding solutions into a LPZ that was spiked with non-aqueous phase 14C-TCE. The treatments we evaluated included permanganate paired with: (i) a shear-thinning polymer (xanthan); (ii) stabilization aids that minimized MnO2 rind formation and (iii) a phase-transfer catalyst. In addition, we quantified the ability of these flooding solutions to improve TCE destruction under batch conditions by developing miniature LPZ cylinders that were spiked with 14C-TCE. Transport experiments showed that MnO4- alone was inefficient in penetrating the LPZ and reacting with non-aqueous phase TCE, due to a distinct and large MnO2 rind that inhibited the TCE from further oxidant contact. By including xanthan with MnO4-, the sweeping efficiency increased (90%) but rind formation was still evident. By including the stabilization aid, sodium hexametaphosphate (SHMP) with xanthan, permanganate penetrated 100% of the LPZ, no rind was observed, and the percentage of TCE oxidized increased. Batch experiments using LPZ cylinders allowed longer contact times between the flooding solutions and the DNAPL and results showed that SHMP+MnO4- improved TCE destruction by ~16% over MnO4- alone (56.5% vs. 40.1%). These results support combining permanganate with SHMP or SHMP and xanthan as a means of treating high concentrations of TCE in low permeable zones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-184
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
StatePublished - Mar 15 2014


  • In situ chemical oxidation
  • Permanganate
  • Stabilization aids
  • TCE
  • Xanthan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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