Evaluating the Applicability of Soil Vapor Extraction Technologies to Remediate Contaminated Sites

EPA Grant Number: GF9500359
Title: Evaluating the Applicability of Soil Vapor Extraction Technologies to Remediate Contaminated Sites
Investigators: Russell, Kevin Todd
Institution: The State University of New York at Buffalo
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: June 1, 1995 through January 1, 2000
Project Amount: $23,625
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1995) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Fellowship - Engineering


The proposed research involves numerical modeling of vapor extraction systems for the cleanup of soils contaminated with volatile organic chemicals (VOC's). The scope of the work involves an extensive literature review to survey the sophistication and limitations of current models. This research will involve obtaining public-domain software models that describe vapor-phase flow in the unsaturated zone and evaluating their applicability and flexibility.

The research will develop a model that increases current model sophistication by incorporating aquifer heterogeneity and nonequilibrium mass transfer. Since many existing models are steady-state solutions to the vapor phase flow equations, the research will also examine the effects of temporal variations in boundary conditions and other model parameters on the analysis results. Both aspects of the research will be formalized as sensitivity analyses that examine the extent to which this added model sophistication increases its predictive capacity. The Machias Gravel Pit Site in Machias, NY will serve as a case study and aid in model verification and calibration. This inactive waste site contains a plume of trichloroethylene and 1,1-trichloroethane. A vapor extraction/air sparging system is currently in use as part of the remedial measures being taken by Motorola, Inc. who have sponsored several research projects at SUNY Buffalo. The large quantity of data will provide the substantial basis for model development.

The ultimate goal of the project is to develop a sophisticated model that can be used as a predictive design tool in evaluating the applicability of soil vapor extraction technologies to remediate contaminated sites.

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Geographic Area, Waste, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, National Recommended Water Quality, Applied Math & Statistics, Remediation, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, HAPS, State, VOCs, computing technology, Chemistry and Materials Science, 33/50, model, contaminated sites, acceptable residue levels, VOC removal, Machias, NY, Machias Gravel Pit Site, Trichloroethylene, contaminated soil, soil vapor extraction technologies, numerical model, 1, 1-trichloroethane, numerical modeling of vapor extraction systems, New York (NY), applicability of soil vapor extraction for remediation

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1995
  • 1996
  • 1997
  • 1998
  • Final