Adventus Americas Inc.

Stabilizing the NAPL Threat: In-situ biogeochemical stabilization and flux reduction using catalyzed permanganate

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Courtesy of Adventus Americas Inc.

Nature of the problem
Non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) and other hydrocarbon residuals can represent long-term sources of groundwater contaminants. Excavation and disposal often represent the most rapid and effective means of removing these source materials from the environment. However, such an approach is not always physically possible, hence in-situ source area management strategies are employed. In-situ source management strategy In-situ biogeochemical stabilization (ISBS) represents a potential means of removing NAPL mass, and reducing flux of organic and inorganic constituents of interest (COI) into groundwater. ISBS entails the use of a specifically modified (catalyzed, buffered) solution of sodium permanganate (NaMnO4) or potassium permanganate (KMnO4) that is introduced into a targeted source zone suspected to contain residual COI. As relatively small amounts of oxidant migrate horizontally and vertically through the targeted source area, various bio-geochemical reactions destroy COI present in the dissolved phase. This, in turn, increases the release of COI from NAPLs into the aqueous phase. The more watersoluble, lower molecular-weight constituents (e.g. benzene, naphthalene) are treated/removed at a proportionally higher rate, thus leading to a hardening or so-called “chemical weathering” of the NAPL as it steadily loses its more labile components. This increases the viscosity of the NAPL, resulting in a more stable residual mass. As a result, the flux of COI released into the dissolved phase is significantly reduced and natural attenuation processes are more easily capable of managing associated plumes (e.g. dissolved manganese is an effective electron acceptor supporting bioremediation processes).

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