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Laboratory studies on benzene sorption processes in clay formations.

Krzysztof Wołowiec, Grzegorz Malina

Vol. 41, no. 1 (2015), s. 43-51

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The presented studies focused on benzene sorption mechanisms in the semi-permeable geological formations (aquitards). Clay formations were taken under consideration as not well investigated so far. Natural clay samples artificially contaminated with benzene were used in batch and column experiments to determine benzene partitioning and retardation in the studied clay material, and to reflect natural groundwater flow conditions. Column tests were carried out under controlled water flow conditions and using undisturbed clay samples. Benzene concentrations in tested samples (water and soil) were determined by gas chromatography (GC-FID). The linear sorption isotherm was used to fit the experimental data, as well as calculate the distribution coefficient (Kd = 0,042) and the retardation factor (R = 1.21) of benzene in the studied clay material. These parameters are important for mathematical modelling of the fate and transport of benzene through the semi-permeable formations (clays) to assess the associated risk and to prevent groundwater resources from contamination.