Transport models for desorption from natural soils packed in flushed columns

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This paper addresses an experimental and theoretical study of sorbed contaminant removal from a column (or reactor) by flushing. This removal may take place by either volatilization or rinsing, and nonlinear sorption is accounted for by employing a Freundlich relationship. A one-dimensional nonequilibrium transport model is proposed which describes the unsteady mass transfer between flushing medium and soil phases in the column, using a linear chemical transfer model. The moving boundary problem is transferred, and a perturbation method is employed to obtain an approximate solution of the governing equations for a small Merkel number Me (this dimensionless number comprises the product of fluid residence time and the mass transfer coefficient). The solution reveals the effect of the various parameters, such as the Freundlich parameter n, on the contaminant transport in fluid phase and decay in solid phase. Applying the model to various experimental data results in values for the overall mass transfer coefficients, which are useful for engineering computations. Furthermore, the model enables the prediction of the initial soil contamination level as well as the parameter n solely from the measured exit contaminant concentrations in the flushing fluid. A thorough comparison of this prediction with the measured soil concentration (prior to the experiments) yields good agreement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1771-1780
Number of pages10
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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