Estimation of transport and degradation parameters for naphthalene and anthracene: Influence of mass transfer on kinetics

  • CN Owabor
  • SE Ogbeide
  • AA Susu


The method of temporal moment solutions (MOM) for onedimensional convective-dispersive solute transport involving linear equilibrium sorption and first order degradation for time pulse sources has been applied to analyze experimental data from a soil microcosm reactor. Estimation of the pore-water velocity V for a non-reactive solute was aided by the use of only the first normalized moment while the dispersion coefficient D, first-order degradation rate constant λ and the retardation factor R were estimated using both first and second normalized moments. These transport and degradation parameters were compared to those obtained by a transport model using a nonlinear least square curve-fitting program CXTFIT (version 2.0). Results obtained showed that the MOM fits the breakthrough curve with tailing better than the CXTFIT. The initial estimates of these parameters aided the reduction of the dimensionality of the search process of the nonsteady state model. A residual concentration of naphthalene 1.12E-5mg/l, 1.48mg/l, and anthracene 7.67E-4mg/l, 1.61mg/l in the axial and radial directions respectively suggests the preference of naphthalene during the biodegradation process. The surface concentration as depicted using threedimensional plots, showed that there is occlusion of the aromatics (naphthalene and anthracene) within the soil micropores thereby limiting their bioavailability and in the long run increasing their toxicity.

Journal of the Nigerian Association of Mathematical Physics, Volume 15 (November, 2009), pp 223 - 236

Author Biographies

CN Owabor
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Benin, Benin, Nigeria
SE Ogbeide
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Benin, Benin, Nigeria
AA Susu
3Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1116-4336