Hydrocarbon spill site cleanup is challenging when contaminants are present in lower permeability layers. These are difficult to remediate and may result in long-term groundwater impacts. The research goal is to investigate strategies for long-term reduction of contaminant emissions from sources in low permeability layers through partial source treatment at higher/lower permeability interfaces. Conceptually, this provides a clean/reduced concentration zone near the interface, and consequently a reduced concentration gradient and flux from the lower permeability layer. Treatment by in-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) was evaluated using hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and sodium persulfate (Na2S2O8). H2O2 studies included lab and field-scale distribution studies and lab emission reduction experiments. The reaction rate of H2O2 in soils was so fast it did not travel far (<1 m) from delivery points under typical flow conditions. Oxygen gas generated and partially trapped in soil pores served as a dissolved oxygen (DO) source for >60 days in field and lab studies. During that period, the laboratory studies had reduced hydrocarbon impacts, presumably from aerobic biodegradation, which rebounded once the O2 source depleted. Therefore field monitoring should extend beyond the post-treatment elevated DO. Na2S2O8 use was studied in two-dimensional tanks (122-cm tall, 122-cm wide, and 5-cm thick) containing two contrasting permeability layers (three orders of magnitude difference). The lower permeability layer initially contained a dissolved-sorbed contaminant source throughout this layer, or a 10-cm thick non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL)-impacted zone below the higher/lower permeability interface. The dissolved-sorbed source tank was actively treated for 14 d. Two hundred days after treatment, the emission reduction of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and p-xylene (BTEX) were 95-99% and methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) was 63%. The LNAPL-source tank had three Na2S2O8 and two sodium hydroxide (NaOH) applications for S2O82- base activation. The resulting emission reductions for BTEX, n-propylbenzene, and 1,3,5 trymethylbenzene were 55-73%. While less effective at reducing emissions from LNAPL sources, the 14-d treatment delivered sufficient S2O82- though diffusion to remediate BTEX from the 60 cm dissolved-sorbed source. The overall S2O82- utilization in the dissolved source experiment was calculated by mass balance to be 108-125 g S2O82-/g hydrocarbon treated.
- Use of interface treatment to reduce emissions from residuals in lower permeability zones to groundwater flowing through more permeable zones