Contaminant Migration Through Soil-Cement Materials
To assess the long-term performance of soil-cement materials used in source-control remediation methods (i.e. cement-based solidification/stabilization), procedures to measure or estimate contaminant migration parameters are essential. Previous research indicates that diffusion may be an important mechanism in contaminant transport through soil-cement materials. However, there is a paucity of information regarding the diffusion of contaminants through these materials. The development of a single-reservoir diffusion apparatus and methodology to assess the effective diffusion coefficient (De) and effective porosity (ne) of dissolved, conservative, inorganic chemicals for saturated, cured, monolithic soil-cement specimens is discussed. This is the only study known to investigate these parameters for these materials. The results of tritiated water diffusion tests on 14 different soil-cement mixtures are presented and the influence of curing time and mixture properties such as water-to-cement ratio, cement content, and grain-size distribution are examined. Results suggest that, to determine reasonable assessments of the longer-term parameters, soil-cement samples should be cured for a minimum of 70 days before commencing diffusion testing. Values of ne (0.21 to 0.41) and De (2.50×10-10 m2/s to 7.0×10-10 m2/s) determined are similar to those previously determined for a number other low-hydraulic conductivity materials (i.e. saturated inactive clays). The water content of the initial mixture is shown to have a substantial effect on the diffusive properties as the results indicate that both the total porosity (n) and the effective porosity, ne, generally increase with increasing initial water content. For the range of soils used in this investigation, grain-size distribution did not have a substantial effect on the values of ne or De determined from diffusion testing. The adaptation of a double-reservoir diffusion testing apparatus and methodology to evaluate the distribution coefficient (Kd) and De of organic contaminants is also presented. This apparatus is used to evaluate Kd and De of benzene, ethylbenzene, naphthalene, and trichloroethylene for three soil-cement mixtures. Values of Kd (0 to 2.5 cm3/g depending on the compound and soil-cement mixture tested) determined from diffusion testing, batch testing, and theoretical estimates from the literature were in general agreement. Values of De for the organic compounds ranged from 1.50×10-10 to 3.0×10-10 m2/s.