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Your Environment. Your Health.

Michigan State University

Superfund Research Program

The Bioavailability, Dissolution and Sorption of Insoluble Mixtures (NAPLs) in Subsurface Systems

Project Leader: Walter J. Weber (University of Michigan)
Grant Number: P42ES004911
Funding Period: 1995 - 2006

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Project Summary (1995-2000)

It is difficult to predict the length of time required for the microbial degradation of environmental pollutants in contaminated soils. This is particularly troublesome for mixtures of pollutants that occur in the subsurface as dense liquids with low solubilities in water. These nonaqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) are often incompletely characterized mixtures of related organic compounds. For example, coal tar and creosote NAPLs may contain a wide array of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), some of which are carcinogenic. One aim of this project is to determine the rates of individual PAH compound dissolution in water, crucial information for predicting the environmental impact of NAPL contaminants and the effectiveness of water-based clean up technologies.

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