Environmental science & technology

Acoustically enhanced multicomponent NAPL ganglia dissolution in water saturated packed columns.

PMID 15212271


The impact of acoustic pressure waves on multicomponent nonaqueous phase liquid (NAPL) ganglia dissolution in water saturated columns packed with glass beads was investigated. Laboratory data from dissolution experiments with two and three component NAPL mixtures suggested that acoustic waves significantly enhance ganglia dissolution due to the imposed oscillatory interstitial water velocity. The dissolution enhancement was shown to be directly proportional to the acoustic wave frequency. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the greatest dissolution enhancement in the presence of acoustic waves is associated with the component of the NAPL mixture having the smallest equilibrium aqueous solubility. Finally, square shaped acoustic waves were shown to lead to greater NAPL dissolution enhancement compared to sinusoidal and triangular acoustic waves. The results of this study suggested that aquifer remediation using acoustic waves is a promising method particularly for aquifers contaminated with NAPLs containing components with very low equilibrium aqueous solubilities.