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Modeling Subsurface Petroleum Hydrocarbon Transport

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Pore Scale Distribution of NAPLs

Subsurface contaminants that are immisicble (do not mix) with water are called non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs). These may be either less dense than water -- light non-aqueous phase liquids (LNAPLs) or more dense than water -- dense non-aqueous phase liquids.

light non-aqueous phase liquids gasoline
diesel fuel
other fuels
most crude oils
creosote
dense non-aqueous phase liquids chlorinated solvents:
perchloroethene,
trichloroethene,
carbon tetrachloride




Because they are immiscble with water, NAPLs distribute themselves in characteristic ways in the pore space. These distributions will be examined in this module.

Physical Model Experiments Conducted by Dr. Friedrich Schwille

Subsurface contamination by petroleum hydrocarbons and other organic liquids was recognized as a problem in Europe before it was in the United States. Beginning in 1975, Dr Friedrich Schwille of the Federal Institute of Hydrology in Koblenz Germany undertook a set of physical model experiments to illustrate the behavior of chlorinated hydrocarbons in the subsurface. This module contains a set of photographs of Dr. Schwille's experiments that illustrate the distribution of organic liquids in artificial porous media.

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