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Permeable Reactive Barriers in Great Depth - Material Testing and Application at a Chromate Contaminated Site


Permeable Reactive Barriers (PRBs) have proven to be an efficient long term method to clean up contaminant plumes in ground water. The deeper they reach to cover the entire extent of a contaminant plume the more normal ground pressure increases within the barrier material. Under these conditions, soil mechanical and hydro geological aspects become more and more considerable, such as hydraulic long term stability, small deformations, minimal consolidation and swelling effects, high grain strength and erosion stability.

Currently, an investigation is being undertaken at a chromate contaminated site to install a PRB with granulated iron oxide as reactive filling material. The aquiclude to reach is at a depth of about 40m. To verify its suitability and to determine the barrier design, batch and column tests are carried out observing the adsorption behaviour of the candidate barrier material on one hand. On the other hand, soil mechanical tests include combined oedometer- and hydraulic conductivity tests, swelling tests and abrasion tests.

Beside laboratory reseach tasks, engineering work is done as well, such as planning the arrangement and design of the barrier system as well as modelling the hydro geological conditions.


Köhler, Sven and Hermanns Stengele, Rita

Index Terms:

Permeable Reactive Barriers; barrier systems; funnel-and-gate; material properties; Reactive Walls; ClayGroup

Further Information: