Automated Impedance Tomography for Monitoring Permeable Reactive Barrier Health

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-04ER84013
Agency Tracking Number: 76166B04-I
Amount: $651,504.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: 25 d
Solicitation Number: DOE/SC-0072
Small Business Information
310 Rebecca Drive, Sparks, NV, 89436
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Douglas LaBrecque
 (775) 425-9607
Business Contact
 Marjorie LaBrecque
Title: Mrs.
Phone: (775) 425-9606
Research Institution
76166B Although permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) are an important treatment option for groundwater remediation, no reliable methods are available to monitor or predict their long-term behavior. The large-scale implementation of reactive barriers will require a means of monitoring their long-term degradation. For example, gaps can occur in the placement of the reactive material, particularly when construction methods such as jetting or deep soil mixing are used. This project will develop a reliable method to verify placement and monitor the effectiveness of permeable reactive barriers. The approach will use arrays of inexpensive electrodes, coupled to autonomously operating hardware and software, to characterize the barrier and determine its effectiveness. In Phase I, column studies using ZVI and apatite PRB materials were performed. Numerical modeling showed that a monitoring configuration, consisting of boreholes spaced at 2 m intervals along the upstream face of the barrier, could be tuned to detect age-spots of 2x3 m in size. Existing instrumentation was modified to provide autonomous operation using solar power, and a reliable, low-overhead protocol for two-way communications was implemented. In Phase II, a full scale field validation for an existing, instrumented PRB will be performed. Web-based, automated geophysical monitoring systems will be enhanced, and software for imaging the temporal signature of an aging PRB will be developed. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The automated monitoring system should find use in more than 100 permeable reactive barriers that will have been installed in North America by the time this project is completed.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government