A multi-objective optimization framework for surfactant-enhanced remediation of DNAPL contaminations

J. Schaerlaekens, J. Mertens, J. Van Linden, G. Vermeiren, J. Carmeliet, J. Feyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The occurrence of Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (DNAPL) contaminations in the subsurface is a threat for drinkwater resources in the western world. Surfactant-Enhanced Aquifer Remediation (SEAR) is widely considered as one of the most promising techniques to remediate DNAPL contaminations in-situ, be it with considerable additional costs compared to classical pump-and-treat remediations. A cost-effective design of the remediation set-up is therefore essential. In this work, a pilot SEAR test is executed at a DNAPL contaminated site in Belgium in order to collect data for the calibration of a multi-phase multi-component model. The calibrated model is used to assess a series of scenario-analyses for the full-scale remediation of the site. The remediation variables that were varied were the injection and extraction rate, the injection and extraction duration, and the surfactant injection concentrations. A constrained multi-objective optimization of the model was applied to obtain a Pareto set of optimal remediation strategies with different weights for the two objectives of the remediation: (i) the maximal removal of DNAPL and (ii) a total minimal cost. These Pareto curves can help decision makers to select an optimal remediation strategy in terms of cost and remediation efficiency. The Pareto front shows a considerable trade-off between the total remediation cost and the removed DNAPL mass. 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-194
JournalJournal of Contaminant Hydrology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

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