Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Engineering Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Dr. Jason Gerhard


Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (NAPLs) represent one of the most prevalent and problematic classes of industrial contaminants. NAPLs with more complex structures, such as creosote and coal tar, are highly recalcitrant and thus resistant to currently available technologies. One novel approach that has shown significant potential for dealing with these types of contamination scenarios is smouldering combustion of NAPLs. This remediation technology involves ignition and propagation of a smouldering reaction in contaminated porous media to achieve contaminant destruction and may represent a highly efficient and cost effective remediation option. This study presents an In Situ Smouldering Model (ISSM) for 2D simulation of smouldering front expansion as a function of air flow velocity and NAPL saturation in heterogeneous porous media with potential applications from the laboratory (cm) to field (km) scale. The model’s development, calibration to published experiments, and evaluation of its ability to reproduce expected NAPL-smouldering behaviour are illustrated. Furthermore, the remediation technology is explored via numerical simulation to confirm its scalability from column experiments to field scenarios. The sensitivity of smouldering front propagation and remediation outcome to key system parameters is also presented. Overall, the ISSM is shown to provide a practical and computationally efficient tool for exploring in situ smouldering combustion and is able to provide important information regarding the application of this technology in the field.



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