Centrifugal study of zone of influence during air-sparging

Liming Hu, Jay N. Meegoda, Jianting Du, Shengyan Gao, Xiaofeng Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Air sparging (AS) is one of the groundwater remediation techniques for remediating volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in saturated soil. However, in spite of the success of air sparging as a remediation technique for the cleanup of contaminated soils, to date, the fundamental mechanisms or the physics of air flow through porous media is not well understood. In this study, centrifugal modeling tests were performed to investigate air flow rates and the evolution of the zone of influence during the air sparging under various g-levels. The test results show that with the increase in sparging pressure the mass flow rate of the air sparging volume increases. The air mass flow rate increases linearly with the effective sparging pressure ratio, which is the difference between sparging pressure and hydrostatic pressure normalized with respect to the effective overburden pressure at the sparging point. Also the slope of mass flow rate with effective sparging pressure ratio increases with higher g-levels. This variation of the slope of mass flow rate of air sparging volume versus effective sparging pressure ratio, M, is linear with g-level confirming that the air flow through soil for a given effective sparging pressure ratio only depends on the g-level. The test results also show that with increasing sparging pressure, the zone of influence (ZOI), which consists of the width at the tip of the cone or lateral intrusion and the cone angle, will lead to an increase in both lateral intrusion and the cone angle. With a further increase in air injection pressure, the cone angle reaches a constant value while the lateral intrusion becomes the main contributor to the enlargement of the ZOI. However, beyond a certain value of effective sparging pressure ratio, there is no further enlargement of the ZOI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2443-2449
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Monitoring
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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