Effects of Groundwater Velocity and Permanganate Concentration on DNAPL Mass Depletion Rates During in Situ Oxidation

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In situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) using permanganate has been increasingly applied to deplete mass from dense nonaqueous-phase liquid (DNAPL) source zones. However, uncertainty in the performance of ISCO on DNAPL contaminants is partially attributable to a limited understanding of interactions between the oxidant, subsurface hydrology, and DNAPL mass transfer, resulting in failure to optimize ISCO applications. To investigate these interactions, a factorial design experiment was conducted using one-dimensional flow through tube reactors to determine how groundwater velocity, permanganate concentration, and DNAPL type affected DNAPL mass depletion rates. DNAPL mass depletion rates were found to increase with increasing groundwater velocity, or increasing oxidant concentration. An interaction occurred between the two factors, where high oxidant concentrations had little impact on mass depletion rates at high velocities. High oxidant concentration systems experienced gas generation. Mass depletion rates were fastest at high velocities, but required additional oxidant mass and pore volume addition to achieve complete mass depletion. Lower-velocity systems were more efficient with respect to oxidant mass and pore volume requirements, but mass depletion rates were reduced.