The concept of in-situ vapor stripping for removing VOCs from groundwater

Haim Gvirtzman*, Steven M. Gorelick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


An in-situ remediation procedure is proposed to remove Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) dissolved in groundwater. This is accomplished by injecton of air into a well, using a combined technique of air-lift pumping with a form of vapor stripping. When air is injected into a well, it causes water to be lifted and forces groundwater flow towards the well, creating a recirculating cleanup zone. During this process, VOCs are transferred from the contaminated water to the rising air bubbles inside the well. The air bubbles are separated from the liquid near the top of the well, and the VOC vapor is collected and treated. In this system, water is not permitted to be lifted to the ground surface. Rather, the water is diverted into the unsaturated zone through a series of drains that are installed beneath the root-zone. The water then, free of a portion of VOCs, infiltrates back to the water table. As water continues to circulate, the VOC concentrations are gradually reduced. The feasibility of the proposed method was analyzed using concepts of mass transfer of VOCs from water to air-bubbles. Calculations indicate that the method has promise because equilibrium partitioning between the contaminated liquid and the gas bubbles is rapidly established.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)71-92
Number of pages22
JournalTransport in Porous Media
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Aquifier remediation
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • air-lift pumping
  • bubbles
  • in-situ vapor stripping
  • mass transfer


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