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An empirical model for the evaluation of the dissolution rate from a DNAPL-contaminated area

Luciano, Antonella, Mancini, Giuseppe, Torretta, Vincenzo, Viotti, Paolo
Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.34 pp. 33992-34004
algorithms, aquifers, dense nonaqueous phase liquids, empirical models, equations, image analysis, mass transfer, morphometry, statistical analysis, tracer techniques
This paper investigates dynamic variation in the morphologic distribution of dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs), which take into account the coupled mass transfer. Experiments were carried out in a 2D tank representing a reconstructed aquifer model. DNAPL dissolution rates were investigated over a wide range of DNAPL saturations, several source configurations, and different hydraulic conditions. Morphometric indexes are presented that take into consideration further factors affecting the dissolution process. Local information regarding transport parameters related to the characteristics of the medium was obtained through a neural network and an optimization algorithm applied to experimental tracer tests. The history of DNAPL source architecture, in terms of saturation, indentation grade, and orientation, was determined by image analysis. Dissolved concentrations were registered and mass transfer rate coefficients were obtained for a wide range of source-zone configurations. A statistical analysis was performed to develop a constitutive equation that is descriptive of the mass transfer rate as a function of source-zone metric characteristics. A new empirical dissolution model using the proposed morphometric parameters is presented and compared with other models. The mass transfer correlation reported incorporates morphometric parameters and considers the complex and variable architecture of non-miscible contaminants. The proposed correlation can be used for an initial assessment of non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) dissolution rates over a wide range of saturation (residual and non-residual) conditions and different aqueous phase velocities within the NAPL source zone.