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Indoor Vapor Intrusion with Oxygen-Limited Biodegradation for a Subsurface Gasoline Source

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journal contribution
posted on 2007-05-01, 00:00 authored by George E. DeVaull
Development and results are presented for a subsurface soil to indoor air chemical vapor intrusion model that includes oxygen-limited biodegradation. The algebraic model incorporates a steady-state subsurface gasoline vapor source, diffusion-dominated soil vapor transport in a homogeneous subsurface soil layer, and mixing within a building enclosure. The soil is divided into a shallow aerobic layer including biodegradation and a deeper anaerobic layer in which biodegradation is neglected. Biodegradation of multiple chemicals is included, with aerobic first-order reaction kinetics estimated from measured data. Oxygen is supplied at the soil surface below the building foundation. Oxygen demand is attributed to a sum of multiple biodegrading chemicals and to baseline respiration of native soil organic matter. The model is solved by iteratively varying the aerobic depth to match oxygen demand to oxygen supply. Model results are calculated for ranges of source concentrations, unsaturated soil characteristics, and building parameters. Results indicate vapor intrusion of petroleum hydrocarbons can be significantly less than indicated by estimates that neglect biodegradation.

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