Chlorinated solvents are extensively used in many activities and hence in the past decades impacted a large number of sites. The presence of these contaminants in groundwater is challenging particularly for the management of the vapor intrusion pathway. In this work we examine the potential feasibility of using horizontal permeable reactive barriers (HPRBs) placed in the unsaturated zone to treat chlorinated solvent vapors emitted from groundwater. Zero-valent iron (ZVI) powders, partially saturated with water and characterized by different specific surface areas (SSA), were tested, alone or mixed with sand, in lab-scale batch reactors using TCE as model compound. Depending on the type of iron powder used, a reduction of TCE concentration in the vapor phase from approximately 35% up to 99% was observed after 3 weeks of treatment. The best performance in terms of TCE reduction was obtained using the ZVI characterized by the intermediated values of the specific surface area (SSA). This finding, which is in contrast with the results generally observed in in aqueous solutions, was tentatively attributed to a non-selective higher reactivity of the fine-grained iron samples with water and dissolved oxygen (with a consequent iron passivation) or to the occurrence of a diffusion-limited reaction kinetics. Based on the first-order kinetic degradation rate constants estimated from the experimental data, a horizontal barrier of 1 m containing ZVI or a mixture of ZVI and sand can potentially lead to an attenuation of TCE vapors over 99%.

Horizontal permeable reactive barriers with zero-valent iron for preventing upward diffusion of chlorinated solvent vapors in the unsaturated zone

Luisetto I.;
2020

Abstract

Chlorinated solvents are extensively used in many activities and hence in the past decades impacted a large number of sites. The presence of these contaminants in groundwater is challenging particularly for the management of the vapor intrusion pathway. In this work we examine the potential feasibility of using horizontal permeable reactive barriers (HPRBs) placed in the unsaturated zone to treat chlorinated solvent vapors emitted from groundwater. Zero-valent iron (ZVI) powders, partially saturated with water and characterized by different specific surface areas (SSA), were tested, alone or mixed with sand, in lab-scale batch reactors using TCE as model compound. Depending on the type of iron powder used, a reduction of TCE concentration in the vapor phase from approximately 35% up to 99% was observed after 3 weeks of treatment. The best performance in terms of TCE reduction was obtained using the ZVI characterized by the intermediated values of the specific surface area (SSA). This finding, which is in contrast with the results generally observed in in aqueous solutions, was tentatively attributed to a non-selective higher reactivity of the fine-grained iron samples with water and dissolved oxygen (with a consequent iron passivation) or to the occurrence of a diffusion-limited reaction kinetics. Based on the first-order kinetic degradation rate constants estimated from the experimental data, a horizontal barrier of 1 m containing ZVI or a mixture of ZVI and sand can potentially lead to an attenuation of TCE vapors over 99%.
Chlorinated solvent vapors
Contaminated sites
Horizontal permeable reactive barrier
Vapor intrusion
Zero-valent iron
Iron
Solvents
Groundwater
Trichloroethylene
Water Pollutants, Chemical
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/56907
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