Transport of Emulsified Edible Oil in a 3-Dimensional Sandbox: Experimental and Modeling Results

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Title: Transport of Emulsified Edible Oil in a 3-Dimensional Sandbox: Experimental and Modeling Results
Author: Jung, Yong
Advisors: Mohammed Gabr, Committee Member
Ranji Ranjithan, Committee Member
Robert C. Borden, Committee Chair
Abstract: Injection of edible oils into the subsurface can provide an effective, low-cost alternative for stimulating anaerobic bioremediation processes. However concerns have been raised about the effects of oil buoyancy and variations in aquifer permeability on the final distribution of oil in the subsurface. 3-D sandbox experiments (1.2 m x 0.98 m x 0.98 m) were conducted to study the distribution of edible oil emulsions. In the first homogeneous experiment, the sandbox was packed with fine clayey sand (D50 = 0.38 mm, 6.9 % passing #200 sieve). In the second heterogeneous experiment, the sandbox was packed in three layers with the fine clayey sand amended with varying amounts of kaolinite (2.5%, 0%, and 5%). A continuously screened injection well was located in one corner of the sandbox. No flow boundaries were located on the two sides directly adjoining the well and constant head boundaries were located on the two sides opposite from the well to simulate Ù of the flow-field surrounding an injection well. A fine emulsion was first injected through the well followed by chase water to distribute the emulsion throughout the sandbox. This approach was very effective in distributing the oil throughout the sandbox and resulted in a reasonably uniform volatile solids distribution in the top, middle and bottom layers, measured 5 ~ 7 weeks after the completion of emulsion injection. The numerical model RT3D with sorption represented by a mass-transfer limited, Langmuir isotherm was used to simulate emulsion transport and retention in the 3-D sandbox. All model parameters, with the exception of the mass transfer rate, were measured independently. Simulations results were in close agreement with observed values for both the homogeneous and heterogeneous injection tests demonstrating that this approach can be used to describe the transport and distribution of emulsified oil under representative aquifer conditions.
Date: 2003-07-18
Degree: MS
Discipline: Civil Engineering

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