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Title: Scaling Effects of Cr(VI) Reduction Kinetics. The Role of Geochemical Heterogeneity

The natural subsurface is highly heterogeneous with minerals distributed in different spatial patterns. Fundamental understanding of how mineral spatial distribution patterns regulate sorption process is important for predicting the transport and fate of chemicals. Existing studies about the sorption was carried out in well-mixed batch reactors or uniformly packed columns, with few data available on the effects of spatial heterogeneities. As a result, there is a lack of data and understanding on how spatial heterogeneities control sorption processes. In this project, we aim to understand and develop modeling capabilities to predict the sorption of Cr(VI), an omnipresent contaminant in natural systems due to its natural occurrence and industrial utilization. We systematically examine the role of spatial patterns of illite, a common clay, in determining the extent of transport limitation and scaling effects associated with Cr(VI) sorption capacity and kinetics using column experiments and reactive transport modeling. Our results showed that the sorbed mass and rates can differ by an order of magnitude due to of the illite spatial heterogeneities and transport limitation. With constraints from data, we also developed the capabilities of modeling Cr(VI) in heterogeneous media. The developed model is then utilized to understand the general principles that governmore » the relationship between sorption and connectivity, a key measure of the spatial pattern characteristics. This correlation can be used to estimate Cr(VI) sorption characteristics in heterogeneous porous media. Insights gained here bridge gaps between laboratory and field application in hydrogeology and geochemical field, and advance predictive understanding of reactive transport processes in the natural heterogeneous subsurface. We believe that these findings will be of interest to a large number of environmental geochemists and engineers, hydrogeologists, and those interested in contaminant fate and transport, water quality and water composition, and natural attenuation processes in natural systems.« less
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  1. Pennsylvania State Univ., State College, PA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States