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Title: Comparison of fluid-fluid interfacial areas measured with X-ray microtomography and interfacial partitioning tracer tests for the same samples: COMPARISON OF FLUID-FLUID INTERFACIAL AREAS

Abstract

Two different methods are currently used for measuring interfacial areas between immiscible fluids within 3-D porous media, high-resolution microtomographic imaging and interfacial partitioning tracer tests (IPTT). Both methods were used in this study to measure nonwetting/wetting interfacial areas for a natural sand. The microtomographic imaging was conducted on the same packed columns that were used for the IPTTs. This is in contrast to prior studies comparing the two methods, for which in all cases different samples were used for the two methods. In addition, the columns were imaged before and after the IPTTs to evaluate the potential impacts of the tracer solution on fluid configuration and attendant interfacial area. The interfacial areas measured using IPTT are ~5 times larger than the microtomographic-measured values, which is consistent with previous work. Analysis of the image data revealed no significant impact of the tracer solution on NAPL configuration or interfacial area. Other potential sources of error were evaluated, and all were demonstrated to be insignificant. The disparity in measured interfacial areas between the two methods is attributed to the limitation of the microtomography method to characterize interfacial area associated with microscopic surface roughness due to resolution constraints.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Soil, Water, and Environmental Science Department, University of Arizona, Tucson Arizona USA
  2. Department of Plant & Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces New Mexico USA
  3. Soil, Water, and Environmental Science Department, University of Arizona, Tucson Arizona USA; Hydrology and Water Resources Department, University of Arizona, Tucson Arizona USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Advanced Photon Source (APS),
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1337184
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Water Resources Research; Journal Volume: 52; Journal Issue: 7
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
ENGLISH
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

McDonald, Kieran, Carroll, Kenneth C., and Brusseau, Mark L. Comparison of fluid-fluid interfacial areas measured with X-ray microtomography and interfacial partitioning tracer tests for the same samples: COMPARISON OF FLUID-FLUID INTERFACIAL AREAS. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1002/2016WR018775.
McDonald, Kieran, Carroll, Kenneth C., & Brusseau, Mark L. Comparison of fluid-fluid interfacial areas measured with X-ray microtomography and interfacial partitioning tracer tests for the same samples: COMPARISON OF FLUID-FLUID INTERFACIAL AREAS. United States. doi:10.1002/2016WR018775.
McDonald, Kieran, Carroll, Kenneth C., and Brusseau, Mark L. 2016. "Comparison of fluid-fluid interfacial areas measured with X-ray microtomography and interfacial partitioning tracer tests for the same samples: COMPARISON OF FLUID-FLUID INTERFACIAL AREAS". United States. doi:10.1002/2016WR018775.
@article{osti_1337184,
title = {Comparison of fluid-fluid interfacial areas measured with X-ray microtomography and interfacial partitioning tracer tests for the same samples: COMPARISON OF FLUID-FLUID INTERFACIAL AREAS},
author = {McDonald, Kieran and Carroll, Kenneth C. and Brusseau, Mark L.},
abstractNote = {Two different methods are currently used for measuring interfacial areas between immiscible fluids within 3-D porous media, high-resolution microtomographic imaging and interfacial partitioning tracer tests (IPTT). Both methods were used in this study to measure nonwetting/wetting interfacial areas for a natural sand. The microtomographic imaging was conducted on the same packed columns that were used for the IPTTs. This is in contrast to prior studies comparing the two methods, for which in all cases different samples were used for the two methods. In addition, the columns were imaged before and after the IPTTs to evaluate the potential impacts of the tracer solution on fluid configuration and attendant interfacial area. The interfacial areas measured using IPTT are ~5 times larger than the microtomographic-measured values, which is consistent with previous work. Analysis of the image data revealed no significant impact of the tracer solution on NAPL configuration or interfacial area. Other potential sources of error were evaluated, and all were demonstrated to be insignificant. The disparity in measured interfacial areas between the two methods is attributed to the limitation of the microtomography method to characterize interfacial area associated with microscopic surface roughness due to resolution constraints.},
doi = {10.1002/2016WR018775},
journal = {Water Resources Research},
number = 7,
volume = 52,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 7
}
  • Interfacial areas between an immiscible organic liquid (NAPL), and water were measured for two natural porous media using two methods, aqueous-phase interfacial partitioning tracer tests and synchrotron X-ray microtomography. The interfacial areas measured with the tracer tests were similar to previously reported values obtained with the method. The values were, however, significantly larger than those obtained from microtomography. Analysis of microtomography data collected before and after introduction of the interfacial tracer solution indicated that the surfactant tracer had minimal impact on fluid-phase configuration and interfacial areas under conditions associated with typical laboratory application. The disparity between the tracer test andmore » microtomography values is attributed primarily to the inability of the microtomography method to resolve interfacial area associated with microscopic surface heterogeneity. This hypothesis is consistent with results recently reported for a comparison of microtomographic analysis and interfacial tracer tests conducted for an air-water system. The tracer test method provides a measure of effective, total (capillary and film) interfacial area, whereas microtomography can be used to determine separately both capillary-associated and film-associated interfacial areas. Both methods appear to provide useful information for given applications. A key to their effective use is recognizing the specific nature of the information provided by each, as well as associated limitations.« less
  • No abstract prepared.
  • The use of surface-active tracers for measuring the interfacial area between nonaqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) and water was evaluated in a hydraulically isolated test cell installed in a surficial aquifer located at Hill Air Force Base (AFB), Utah. Interfacial tracers were developed at the University of Florida for quantifying immiscible fluid-fluid interfaces (air-water or NAPL-water) in porous media. Sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate (SDBS) was used as the interfacial tracer to measure the effective NAPL-water interfacial area (a{sub Nw}), while 2,2-dimethyl-3-pentanol (DMP) was used as the partitioning tracer to estimate the NAPL saturation (S{sub N}). The observed retardation of SDBS andmore » DMP when compared to a nonreactive tracer (bromide or methanol) at eight multi-level sampling locations and one extraction well, was used to quantify the a{sub Nw} and S{sub N} values averaged over the interval between the injection wells and each monitoring point. The NAPL morphology index, defined here as H{sub N} = a{sub Nw}/{psi}S{sub N} ({psi} = porosity), varied significantly within the test cell. In locations where the magnitude of H{sub N} was large, the NAPL was assumed to be more or less uniformly spread, providing good contact with the mobile fluid. In contrast, regions with low H{sub N} values were assumed to have NAPL that was more heterogeneously distributed as isolated patches providing poor contact with the mobile fluid. The index H{sub N}, provided by the combined use of interfacial and partitioning tracers, has important implications for NAPL source region remediation employing in situ flushing technologies.« less