The efficiency of traditional soil venting or soil vapor extraction (SVE) highly depends on the architecture of the subsurface because imposed advective air flow tends to bypass low-permeable contaminated areas. Pneumatic SVE is a technique developed to enhance remediation efficiency of heterogeneous soils by enforcing large fluctuating pressure fronts through the contaminated area. Laboratory experiments have suggested that pneumatic SVE considerably improves the recovery rate from low-permeable units. We have analyzed the experimental results using a numerical code and quantified the physical processes controlling the functioning of the method. A sensitivity analysis for selected boundary conditions, initial conditions and parameters was carried out to examine how the method behaves under conditions different from the experimental set-up. The simulations show that at the laboratory level the pneumatic venting technology is superior to the traditional technique, and that the method is particularly efficient in cases where large permeability contrasts exist between soil units in the subsurface.
- Pneumatic soil vapor extraction