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Implications of non-equilibrium transport in heterogeneous reactive barrier systems: evidence from laboratory denitrification experiments
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL.
2011 (English)In: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, ISSN 0169-7722, E-ISSN 1873-6009, Vol. 123, no 1-2, 30-39 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Organic substrates in reactive barrier systems are often heterogeneous material mixtures with relatively large contrasts in hydraulic conductivity and porosity over short distances. These short-range variations in material properties imply that preferential flow paths and diffusion between regions of higher and lower hydraulic conductivity may be important for treatment efficiency. This paper presents the results of a laboratory column experiment where denitrification is investigated using a heterogeneous reactive substrate (sawdust mixed with sewage sludge). Displacement experiments with a non-reactive solute at three different flow rates are used to estimate transport parameters using a dual porosity non-equilibrium model.

Parameter estimation from breakthrough curves produced relatively consistent values for the fraction of the porosity consisting of mobile water (β) and the mass transfer coefficient (α), with average values of 0.27 and 0.42 d-1, respectively. The column system removes > 95% of the influent nitrate at low and medium flow, but only 50 – 75% of the influent nitrate at high flow, suggesting that denitrification kinetics and diffusive mass transfer rates are limiting the degree of treatment at lower hydraulic residence times. Reactive barrier systems containing dual porosity media must therefore consider mass transfer times in their design; this is often most easily accommodated by adjusting flowpath length.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 123, no 1-2, 30-39 p.
Keyword [en]
CXTFIT, Diffusion, Dispersivity, Dual porosity, Heterogeneity, Tracer
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-140012DOI: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2010.12.004ISI: 000289136200004OAI: diva2:382764
Available from: 2011-03-08 Created: 2011-01-03 Last updated: 2011-04-19Bibliographically approved

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