A comparison of physicochemical methods for the remediation of porous medium systems contaminated with tar

Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
S C Hauswirth, C T Miller


The remediation of former manufactured gas plant (FMGP) sites contaminated with tar DNAPLs (dense non-aqueous phase liquids) presents a significant challenge. The tars are viscous mixtures of thousands of individual compounds, including known and suspected carcinogens. This work investigates the use of combinations of mobilization, solubilization, and chemical oxidation approaches to remove and degrade tars and tar components in porous medium systems. Column experiments were conducted using several flushing solutions, including an alkaline-polymer (AP) solution containing NaOH and xanthan gum (XG), a surfactant-polymer (SP) solution containing Triton X-100 surfactant (TX100) and XG, an alkaline-surfactant-polymer (ASP) solution containing NaOH, TX100, and XG, and base-activated sodium persulfate both with and without added TX100. The effectiveness of the flushing solutions was assessed based on both removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) mass and on the reduction of dissolved-phase PAH concentrations. SP flushes of 6.6 to 20.9 PV removed over 99% of residual PAH mass and reduced dissolved-phase concentrations by up to two orders of magnitude. ASP flushing efficiently removed 95-96% of residual PAH mass within about 2 ...Continue Reading


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