Experimental and Modelling Studies on the Spreading of Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids in Heterogeneous Media

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Sammanfattning: Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (NAPLs) include commonly occurring organic contaminants such as gasoline, diesel fuel and chlorinated solvents. When released to subsurface environments their spreading is a complex process of multi-component, multi-phase flow. This work has strived to develop new models and methods to describe the spreading of NAPLs in heterogeneous geological media.For two-phase systems, infiltration and immobilisation of NAPL in stochastically heterogeneous, water-saturated media were investigated. First, a methodology to continuously measure NAPL saturations in space and time in a two-dimensional experiment setup, using multiple-energy x-ray-attenuation techniques, was developed. Second, a set of experiments on NAPL infiltration in carefully designed structures of well-known stochastic heterogeneity were conducted. Three detailed data-sets were generated and the importance of heterogeneity for both flow and the immobilised NAPL architecture was demonstrated. Third, the laboratory experiments were modelled with a continuum- and Darcy’s-law-based multi-phase flow model. Different models for the capillary pressure (Pc) – fluid saturation (S) – relative permeability (kr) constitutive relations were compared and tested against experimental observations. A method to account for NAPL immobility in dead-end pore-spaces during drainage was introduced and the importance of accounting for hysteresis and NAPL entrapment in the constitutive relations was demonstrated.NAPL migration in three-phase, water-NAPL-air systems was also studied. Different constitutive relations used in modelling of three-phase flow were analysed and compared to existing laboratory data. To improve model performance, a new formulation for the saturation dependence of tortuosity was introduced and different scaling options for the Pc-S relations were investigated. Finally, a method to model the spreading of multi-constituent contaminants using a single-component multi-phase model was developed. With the method, the migration behaviour of individual constituents in a mixture, e.g. benzene in gasoline, could be studied, which was demonstrated in a modelling study of a gasoline spill in connection with a transport accident.