|Yahia A. Majali|
For his Ph.D. research Mr. Majali is investigating groundwater remediation using air sparging. This technique involves the injection of compressed air at controlled pressures and rates into the saturated zone of an aquifer to remove in the gaseous phase dissolved or residual volatile contaminants and enhance their biodegradation. Despite wide spread use of air sparging, there is inadequate understanding of the processes and phenomena involved. To reduce environmental risks with this technology, Mr. Majali has investigated the mechanisms of air/water displacement in porous media and is developing a numerical simulator for this transient, 3-dimensional process. He is conducting laboratory experiments to measure the air/water distribution, pressures and velocities for different injection and media conditions. These experiments will be used to validate and verify the numerical simulator . It is planned to test his simulator using field scale conditions. After such testing this simulator can be used to assist agencies and firms involved in remediation to determine the optimal number, placement, and operating conditions of injection wells.
The benefits of this work become significant in light of the extensive groundwater contamination in the United States. The cost of this clean up is estimated to be between $200 and $300 billion. Such a cost has a significant impact on the economy and global competitiveness of the U.S. This impact can be buffered through the use of cost-effective remediation technologies, such as air sparging, which have lower initial capital costs and lower operation and maintenance costs than traditional remediation technologies (e.g., pump and treat).
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