Nonideal behavior during complete dissolution of organic immiscible liquid: 1. Natural porous media.
ABSTRACT Experiments were conducted to investigate the complete dissolution of organic immiscible liquid residing within natural porous media. Organic-liquid dissolution was investigated by conducting experiments with homogeneously packed columns containing a residual saturation of organic liquid (trichloroethene). The porous media used comprised different textures (ranges of particle-size distributions) and organic-carbon contents. The dissolution behavior that was observed for the soil and aquifer sediment systems deviated from the behavior typically observed for systems composed of ideal sands. Specifically, multi-step elution curves were observed, with multiple extended periods of relatively constant contaminant flux. This behavior was more pronounced for the two media with larger particle-size distributions. Conversely, this type of dissolution behavior was not observed for the control system, which consisted of a well-sorted sand. It is hypothesized that the pore-scale configuration of the organic liquid and of the flow field is more complex for the poorly sorted media, and that this greater complexity constrains dissolution dynamics, leading to the observed nonideal behavior.