Permeable Adsorptive Barriers (PABs), filled with a commercial activated carbon, are tested as a technique for the remediation of a thallium (I)-contaminated aquifer located in the south of Italy. Thallium adsorption capacity of the activated carbon is experimentally determined through dedicated laboratory tests, allowing to obtain the main modelling parameters to describe the adsorption phenomena within the barrier. A 2D numerical model, solved by using a finite element approach via COMSOL Multi-physics® is used to simulate the contaminant transport within the aquifer and for the PAB design. Investigations are carried out on an innovative barrier configuration, called Discontinuous Permeable Adsorptive Barrier (PAB-D). In addition, an optimization procedure is followed to determine the optimum PAB-D parameters, and to evaluate the total costs of the intervention. A PAB-D made by an array of wells having a diameter of 1.5 m and spaced at a distance of 4 m from each other, is shown to be the most cost-effective of those tested, and ensures the aquifer restoration within 80 years. The simulation outcomes demonstrate that the designed PAB-D is an effective tool for the remediation of the aquifer under analysis, since the contaminant concentration downstream of the barrier is below the thallium regulatory limit for groundwater, also accounting for possible desorption phenomena. Finally, the best PAB-D configuration is compared with a continuous barrier (PAB-C), resulting in a 32% saving of adsorbing material volume, and 36% of the overall costs for the PAB-D.

Experimental and simulation study of the restoration of a thallium (I)-contaminated aquifer by Permeable Adsorptive Barriers (PABs)

Santonastaso, G. F.;Chianese, S.;Di Nardo, A.;Musmarra, D.
2018

Abstract

Permeable Adsorptive Barriers (PABs), filled with a commercial activated carbon, are tested as a technique for the remediation of a thallium (I)-contaminated aquifer located in the south of Italy. Thallium adsorption capacity of the activated carbon is experimentally determined through dedicated laboratory tests, allowing to obtain the main modelling parameters to describe the adsorption phenomena within the barrier. A 2D numerical model, solved by using a finite element approach via COMSOL Multi-physics® is used to simulate the contaminant transport within the aquifer and for the PAB design. Investigations are carried out on an innovative barrier configuration, called Discontinuous Permeable Adsorptive Barrier (PAB-D). In addition, an optimization procedure is followed to determine the optimum PAB-D parameters, and to evaluate the total costs of the intervention. A PAB-D made by an array of wells having a diameter of 1.5 m and spaced at a distance of 4 m from each other, is shown to be the most cost-effective of those tested, and ensures the aquifer restoration within 80 years. The simulation outcomes demonstrate that the designed PAB-D is an effective tool for the remediation of the aquifer under analysis, since the contaminant concentration downstream of the barrier is below the thallium regulatory limit for groundwater, also accounting for possible desorption phenomena. Finally, the best PAB-D configuration is compared with a continuous barrier (PAB-C), resulting in a 32% saving of adsorbing material volume, and 36% of the overall costs for the PAB-D.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11591/386580
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