Development of a Passive Flux Meter Approach to Quantifying 1,4-Dioxane Mass Flux

Dr. Michael Annable | University of Florida



The objective of this project is to develop a method for the simultaneous in situ measurement of 1,4-dioxane and water flux. Measurement of flux is critical to both the design and evaluation of remedial strategies that rely on injection of stimulants to promote biological or abiotic reactions to degrade 1,4-dioxane. Since 1,4-dioxane is predominantly associated with dilute plumes, that are often detached from the original source zone, measurement of the flux distribution within the aquifer becomes critical to successful and economical implementation of in-situ remedial efforts.

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Technical Approach

This limited-scope project will develop a passive flux meter (PFM) for measuring 1,4-dioxane fluxes and groundwater specific discharge. The team will adapt field-tested concepts from PFMs designed to measure the fluxes of hydrophobic organics. Laboratory studies will be conducted focusing on current and modified PFM approaches with validation under controlled laboratory conditions. The team will evaluate the limitations of using a standard design of the PFM with selected sorbents for measuring 1,4-dioxane and groundwater fluxes and evaluate modifications to the standard approach that will enhance the capture of 1,4-dioxane in the passive flux meter sorbent to improve accuracy. Methods to consider include low permeability media to extend deployment duration, incorporation of a diffusion sampling domain into the passive flux meter, and consideration of a reactive media designed to enhance 1,4-dioxane capture. A field evaluation involving the new design will be conducted in coordination with SERDP-funded projects focusing on remedial evaluations at 1,4-dioxane contaminated sites. The field trial will include a transect of wells located within an existing 1,4-dioxane plume to characterize the spatial variability of contaminant flux and provide a measure of the total mass discharge and associated uncertainty.

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Flux-based data can be used to target remedial actions where contaminant fluxes are greatest and to reduce the costs associated with aquifer restoration. Knowing in advance where contaminant fluxes are greatest permits one to optimize the physical configuration of injected amendments. This type of performance-based design will reduce the need for over-design, decrease the risks of inadequate system design, and create opportunities to improved cost-effective use of reactive media. (Anticipated Project Completion - 2018)

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Points of Contact

Principal Investigator

Dr. Michael Annable

University of Florida

Phone: 352-392-3294

Fax: 352-392-3076

Program Manager

Environmental Restoration