A non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) is a term used to describe the physical and chemical differences between a hydrocarbon liquid and water, which result in a physical interface between the two liquids when mixed. Despite the physical dividing surface between the two liquids, compounds found in NAPL are not prevented from dissolving into the ground water.
NAPL has typically been divided into two general categories, dense and light. These terms describe the specific gravity, or the weight of NAPL relative to water. Correspondingly, light non-aqueous phase liquids (LNAPL) have a specific gravity less than water; and dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPL) have a specific gravity greater than water.
Due to its unique manner of migrating and pooling within soil pores and rock fractures, DNAPL in free-phase or residual form is difficult to find and measure. DNAPLs typically contain chlorinated hydrocarbon compounds or industry-specific contaminants resulting from activities such as wood-treating, pesticide/herbicide manufacturing, or coking operations. Relatively small quantities of DNAPL that sink into soil and accumulate below the water table constitute a long-term source of groundwater contamination.
This course is intended for environmental engineers who have involvement or interest in groundwater & soil remediation, in which the source of contamination is DNAPL. The course material is extracted from EPA publication 600-R-09-119.
To receive PDH credit for this course, the student must pass a multiple-choice quiz consisting of fifteen (15) questions.
Specific Knowledge or Skill Obtained
This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:
- DNAPL migration in the unsaturated & saturated zones
- Types of DNAPL and their industrial sources
- Investigative methods for DNAPL sources
- Assessment of DNAPL presence based on investigative results
- Delineation of the DNAPL source zone: confirmed/probable vs. potential zones
- Calculations for DNAPL saturation, soil partitioning, and effective solubility
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