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Title: Pore-Water Extraction from Unsaturated Porous Media: Intermediate-Scale Laboratory

Abstract

As a remedial approach, vacuum-induced pore-water extraction offers the possibility of contaminant and water removal from the vadose zone, which may be beneficial in reducing the flux of vadose zone contaminants to groundwater. Vadose zone water extraction is being considered at the Hanford Site in Washington State as a means to remove technetium-99 contamination from low permeability sediments with relatively high water contents. A series of intermediate-scale laboratory experiments have been conducted to improve the fundamental understanding and limitations of the technique. Column experiments were designed to investigate the relations between imposed suctions, water saturations, and water production. Flow cell experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of high-permeability layers and near-well compaction on pore-water extraction efficiency. Results show that water extraction from unsaturated systems can be achieved in low permeability sediments, provided that the initial water saturations are relatively high. The presence of a high-permeability layer decreased the yield, and compaction near the well screen had a limited effect on overall performance. In all experiments, large pressure gradients were observed near the extraction screen. Minimum requirements for water extraction include an imposed vacuum-induced suction larger than the initial sediment capillary pressure, in combination with a fully saturated seepage-face boundary.more » A numerical multiphase simulator with a coupled seepage-face boundary conditions was used to simulate the experiments. Reasonable matches were obtained between measured and simulated results for both water extraction and capillary pressures, suggesting that numerical simulations may be used as a design tool for field-scale applications of pore-water extraction.« less

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1163812
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-102165
47629; 830403000
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Vadose Zone Journal, 13(8)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
pore-water extraction; subsurface remediation; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

Citation Formats

Oostrom, Martinus, Truex, Michael J., Wietsma, Thomas W., and Tartakovsky, Guzel D. Pore-Water Extraction from Unsaturated Porous Media: Intermediate-Scale Laboratory. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.2136/vzj2014.04.0044.
Oostrom, Martinus, Truex, Michael J., Wietsma, Thomas W., & Tartakovsky, Guzel D. Pore-Water Extraction from Unsaturated Porous Media: Intermediate-Scale Laboratory. United States. doi:10.2136/vzj2014.04.0044.
Oostrom, Martinus, Truex, Michael J., Wietsma, Thomas W., and Tartakovsky, Guzel D. Fri . "Pore-Water Extraction from Unsaturated Porous Media: Intermediate-Scale Laboratory". United States. doi:10.2136/vzj2014.04.0044.
@article{osti_1163812,
title = {Pore-Water Extraction from Unsaturated Porous Media: Intermediate-Scale Laboratory},
author = {Oostrom, Martinus and Truex, Michael J. and Wietsma, Thomas W. and Tartakovsky, Guzel D.},
abstractNote = {As a remedial approach, vacuum-induced pore-water extraction offers the possibility of contaminant and water removal from the vadose zone, which may be beneficial in reducing the flux of vadose zone contaminants to groundwater. Vadose zone water extraction is being considered at the Hanford Site in Washington State as a means to remove technetium-99 contamination from low permeability sediments with relatively high water contents. A series of intermediate-scale laboratory experiments have been conducted to improve the fundamental understanding and limitations of the technique. Column experiments were designed to investigate the relations between imposed suctions, water saturations, and water production. Flow cell experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of high-permeability layers and near-well compaction on pore-water extraction efficiency. Results show that water extraction from unsaturated systems can be achieved in low permeability sediments, provided that the initial water saturations are relatively high. The presence of a high-permeability layer decreased the yield, and compaction near the well screen had a limited effect on overall performance. In all experiments, large pressure gradients were observed near the extraction screen. Minimum requirements for water extraction include an imposed vacuum-induced suction larger than the initial sediment capillary pressure, in combination with a fully saturated seepage-face boundary. A numerical multiphase simulator with a coupled seepage-face boundary conditions was used to simulate the experiments. Reasonable matches were obtained between measured and simulated results for both water extraction and capillary pressures, suggesting that numerical simulations may be used as a design tool for field-scale applications of pore-water extraction.},
doi = {10.2136/vzj2014.04.0044},
journal = {Vadose Zone Journal, 13(8)},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Aug 15 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Fri Aug 15 00:00:00 EDT 2014}
}
  • Soil desiccation (drying) is recognized as a potentially robust vadose zone remediation process involving water evaporation induced by air injection and extraction. Desiccation has the potential to immobilize contaminants and could potentially improve access for other gas-phase treatments by reducing water saturation and therefore increasing sediment gas-phase permeability. Before this technology could be deployed in the field, concerns related to energy limitations, osmotic effects, and potential contaminant remobilization after rewetting need to be addressed. A series of detailed wedge-shaped, intermediate-scale laboratory experiments in unsaturated homogeneous and simple heterogeneous systems was conducted to improve the understanding of the impact of energymore » balance issues on soil desiccation. The experiments were simulated with the multifluid flow simulator STOMP, using independently obtained hydraulic and thermal porous medium properties. In all the experiments, the injection of dry air proved to be an effective means for removing essentially all moisture from the test media. Evaporative cooling was observed which generally decreased with increased distance from the gas inlet chamber. Observations of temperature in fine-grained sands in the heterogeneous systems show two local temperature minima associated with the cooling. The first one occurs because of evaporation in the adjacent medium-grained sand whereas the second minimum is attributed to evaporative cooling in the fine-grained sand itself. Results of the laboratory tests were simulated accurately when thermal properties of the flow cell walls and insulation material were taken into account, indicating that the proper physics were incorporated into the simulator.« less
  • The elevated level of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2) has caused serious concern of the progression of global warming. Geological sequestration is considered as one of the most promising techniques for mitigating the damaging effect of global climate change. Investigations over wide range of length-scales are important for systematic evaluation of the underground formations from prospective CO 2 reservoir. Understanding the relationship between the micro morphology and the observed macro phenomena is even more crucial. Here we show Synchrotron based X-ray micro tomographic study of the morphological buildup of Sandstones. We present a numerical method to extract the pore sizesmore » distribution of the porous structure directly, without approximation or complex calculation. We have also demonstrated its capability in predicting the capillary pressure curve in a mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP) measurement. The method presented in this work can be directly applied to the morphological studies of heterogeneous systems in various research fields, ranging from Carbon Capture and Storage, and Enhanced Oil Recovery to environmental remediation in the vadose zone.« less
  • The elevated level of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2) has caused serious concern of the progression of global warming. Geological sequestration is considered as one of the most promising techniques for mitigating the damaging effect of global climate change. Investigations over wide range of length-scales are important for systematic evaluation of the underground formations from prospective CO 2 reservoir. Understanding the relationship between the micro morphology and the observed macro phenomena is even more crucial. Here we show Synchrotron based X-ray micro tomographic study of the morphological buildup of Sandstones. We present a numerical method to extract the pore sizesmore » distribution of the porous structure directly, without approximation or complex calculation. We have also demonstrated its capability in predicting the capillary pressure curve in a mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP) measurement. Lastly, the method presented in this work can be directly applied to the morphological studies of heterogeneous systems in various research fields, ranging from Carbon Capture and Storage, and Enhanced Oil Recovery to environmental remediation in the vadose zone.« less
  • The elevated level of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2) has caused serious concern of the progression of global warming. Geological sequestration is considered as one of the most promising techniques for mitigating the damaging effect of global climate change. Investigations over wide range of length-scales are important for systematic evaluation of the underground formations from prospective CO 2 reservoir. Understanding the relationship between the micro morphology and the observed macro phenomena is even more crucial. Here we show Synchrotron based X-ray micro tomographic study of the morphological buildup of Sandstones. We present a numerical method to extract the pore sizesmore » distribution of the porous structure directly, without approximation or complex calculation. We have also demonstrated its capability in predicting the capillary pressure curve in a mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP) measurement. In conclusion, the method presented in this work can be directly applied to the morphological studies of heterogeneous systems in various research fields, ranging from Carbon Capture and Storage, and Enhanced Oil Recovery to environmental remediation in the vadose zone.« less