esm223_07_Other_Reading_Air Sparge with packer NFESC - news item - Mar2007

Esm223_07_Other_Reading_Air Sparge with packer NFESC - news item - Mar2007

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Invention offers cheaper, faster way to clean water ADAS dreamed up by local environmental engineer By Allison Bruce Ventura County Star March 25, 2007 The pipe in Andrew Drucker's cubicle, only a half-inch in diameter, is a prototype device that could reduce the cost of cleaning up contaminated groundwater by millions of dollars. Drucker, an environmental engineer at Port Hueneme's Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center, created the system that improves on old technology. Adjustable Depth Air Sparging, or ADAS, is being tested at a polluted site in New Jersey, where it has performed well against traditional technology. Air sparging is a technique used to separate contaminants, such as those found in petroleum products, from groundwater. A well of about 1- to 2.5-inches in diameter is drilled and then air is forced down a pipe to the bottom of the well. The air goes into the ground and bubbles up through the groundwater, stripping away pollutants. The pollutants rise with the air toward the surface where other techniques are used to collect and dispose of them. The problem with this approach is there is a risk of not hitting the "sweet spot" — the depth where the air will strip out the most pollutants in the smallest amount of time, Drucker said. "That's why you take your chances when it's set at a particular depth," he said. Various approaches have been tried to get optimal results. Companies drill a well, pump in air through a pipe and then bring in equipment to adjust the depth. That can be expensive and time consuming. Some in the industry have proposed drilling several wells at different depths near each other, but that also is expensive. When he heard that suggestion at a conference on air injection, Drucker started thinking about a new solution. Three months later, he had sketched out an idea for how to adjust the depth of the well,
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This note was uploaded on 08/06/2008 for the course ESM 235 taught by Professor Dunne during the Winter '08 term at UCSB.

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Esm223_07_Other_Reading_Air Sparge with packer NFESC - news item - Mar2007

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