Laboratory column experiments using polymer mats to remove selected VOCs, PAHs, and pesticides from ground water

B.M. Patterson, G.B. Davis, Allan Mckinley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Large-scale column experiments were undertaken to evaluate the potential of polymer mats to remove selected volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and pesticides (atrazine and fenamiphos) from ground water and potentially to act as permeable reactive barriers in contaminated ground water environments. The polymer mats, composed of interwoven silicone (dimethylsiloxane) tubes and purged with air, were installed in 2 m long flow-through columns. The polymer mats proved efficient in physically removing (stripping) benzene and naphthalene from contaminated water. Removal efficiencies for both these compounds from an aqueous phase flowing past a polymer mat were 75% or greater, However, for atrazine and fenamiphos, removal efficiencies were 5% or less, probably as a result of their lower Henry's law constants and possibly lower polymer diffusion coefficients.These experiments indicate that, at least for relatively volatile compounds, polymer mats can provide a remediation technique for the removal of organic compounds from contaminated water. Application of this technique may be well suited as a longer-term, semipassive strategy to remediate contaminated ground water, using natural ground water flow to deliver contaminated ground water to polymer mats engineered as sorption-stripping barriers.Additional benefits of this technique may include targeted delivery of gaseous chemical amendments, such as oxygen, to enhance aerobic biodegradation and to further reduce any residual concentrations of contaminants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-106
JournalGround Water Monitoring and Remediation
Issue numbern/a
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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