Remobilization of residual non-aqueous phase liquid in porous media by freeze-thaw cycles.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The pore-scale behavior of a nonaqueous phase liquid (NAPL) trapped as residual contamination in a porous medium, subject to freeze-thaw cycles, was investigated by X-ray microcomputed tomography. It is shown that freeze-thaw cycles cause significant NAPL remobilization in the direction of the freezing front, due to the rupture and transport of a significant proportion of (supposedly entrapped) larger multipore NAPL ganglia. Significant NAPL remains in place, however, due to substantial ganglion fragmentation into single- and subpore ganglia. The contraction of branched ganglia into more rounded forms, especially near the top surface, is also observed. Three freezing-induced mechanisms are proposed to explain the results. The findings have important implications for NAPL contamination in cold regions, and for the behavior of water-hydrocarbon systems on the Earth and other planets.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Singh, K; Niven, RK; Senden, TJ; Turner, ML; Sheppard, AP; Middleton, JP; Knackstedt, MA

Published Date

  • April 15, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 45 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 3473 - 3478

PubMed ID

  • 21438639

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1520-5851

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/es200151g


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States