1. DESCRIPTION After an initial spill, contaminants, e.g. non-aqueous phase liquids, will spread near the source due to gravity and capillary forces. Capillary effects trap the bulk of the pollution in a limited zone from which it only partially spreads by dispersion in groundwater, making the pollution durable. We focus on the confinement of an initial contaminant spill by polymer gels. The research will be performed through a synergistic effort of the faculties of Civil Engineering (environmental aspects) and Petroleum Engineering (polymer dynamics in porous media). It will result in experimental set-ups and data for screening purposes, and computer models to assist in the optimal design of contaminant confinement.
2. OBJECTIVE Application of Petroleum (Reservoir) Technology to relieve environmental problems; polymer gels used to reduced water production in oil wells appear to be suitable to reduce or block water flow in polluted soils.
3. PROJECT ORGANIZATION Co-operation between the Faculties of Civil and Petroleum Engineering.