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Hydrology; Cleanup Surfactant - Research Paper Example

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Groundwater contamination as well as soil by petroleum products and organic solvents has become a significant environmental concern in the world today. These compounds tend to seep in the subsurface as NAPL (non- aqueous-phase liquid) or a separate organic-phase. When NAPL is…
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Hydrology; Cleanup Surfactant
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Download file to see previous pages The residual organic liquid facilitates for an aquifer contamination. This takes place as water dissolves in the soil to join the rest of the ground water (Brusseau et al., 2009). It is hence evident that the contaminants are stored in the soil. In other words soil is also contaminated.
It had been long believed that pump and treat methods were helpful in cleaning up contaminated soil. However, it has been discovered that these methods are neither economical nor effective means of recuperating residual NAPL from the contaminated aquifers. The inefficiency is attributed to low aqueous solubility of most NAPL as well as large interracial tension that exist between NAPL and groundwater. These aspects prevent displacement of residual NAPL globules at realistic pumping velocities. Aqueous surfactant solutions have instead been approved as the best criteria of removing NAPL from the contaminated aquifers (McCray et al., 2001). BioSolve and PetroSolve are examples of the aqueous surfactant solutions used in cleaning up soil in the world today. Various aspects are linked to these products which imply why these products are recommendable in the clean-up process as the document discusses.
There are two main reasons why aqueous surfactants are recommendable in soil clean-up process. One of the reasons is that they tend to increase the superficial solubility of NAPLs. Secondly, they reduce interracial tension available between organic and aqueous phases. These phases help in inducing the mobilization of the residual organic liquids. The BioSolve and PetroSolve surfactants cleanup facilitate the removal of deposited and sorbed polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), the diesel fuels from the soil as well as the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These techniques have succeeded as a result of critical micelle concentration. This aspect dramatically enhances the aqueous solubility of the hydrophobic organic compounds (Carroll & Brusseau, 2009).
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