• An experimental investigation of natural freezing and biopolymers for permeability modification to reduce the volume of dense non-aqueous phase liquids in groundwater

      D'Cunha, Neil John (2004-12)
      Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (DNAPL) contamination is one of the major environmental concerns today. DNAPL can remain in significant quantities as residual contaminants in the low permeability zones even after the bulk phase has been removed. As the drive fluid sweeps through the aquifer it follows the path of least resistance, which is the high permeability zone. Thus the contaminants trapped in the low permeability zones remain as residuals and serve as a source for prolonged contamination. Conventional remediation techniques are ill-equipped to deal with the heterogeneities of the aquifers. Various techniques to enhance the efficiency of the conventional methods are tried without significant success. Reducing the temperature of soil formations can modify aquifer flow paths. The natural freezing of soils in winter may be used effectively to modify the flow paths. In summer, permeability modification can be accomplished by emplacement of microbial polymer gels. In this thesis, we have investigated using a laboratory scale one dimensional column experiment, a novel technique to reduce the volume of residual DNAPL using a combination of natural freezing in winter and biopolymer in summer.