Toxic cleanup using bioventing and sparging
By kjfitz @ 2007-07-05 10:13:35
At former Mather Air Force Base.
Air sparging is an in situ technology in which air is injected through a contaminated aquifer. Injected air traverses horizontally and vertically in channels through the soil column, creating an underground stripper that removes contaminants by volatilization. This injected air helps to flush (bubble) the contaminants up into the unsaturated zone where a vapor extraction system is usually implemented in conjunction with air sparging to remove the generated vapor phase contamination. This technology is designed to operate at high flow rates to maintain increased contact between ground water and soil and strip more ground water by sparging. [amiadini.com]
Bioventing is an in situ remediation technology that uses indigenous microorganisms to biodegrade organic constituents adsorbed to soils in the unsaturated zone. Soils in the capillary fringe and the saturated zone are not affected. In bioventing, the activity of the indigenous bacteria is enhanced by inducing air (or oxygen) flow into the unsaturated zone (using extraction or injection wells) and, if necessary, by adding nutrients.
When extraction wells are used for bioventing, the process is similar to soil vapor extraction (SVE). However, while SVE removes constituents primarily through volatilization, bioventing systems promote biodegradation of constituents and minimize volatilization (generally by using lower air flow rates than for SVE). In practice, some degree of volatilization and biodegradation occurs when either SVE or bioventing is used. [EPA]
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