Air emission flux from contaminated dredged materials stored in a pilot-scale confined disposal facility

R. Ravikrishna, K. T. Valsaraj, D. D. Reible, L. J. Thibodeaux, C. B. Price, J. M. Brannon, T. E. Myers, S. Yost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A pilot-scale field simulation was conducted to estimate the air emissions from contaminated dredged material stored in a confined disposal facility (CDF). Contaminated dredged material with a variety of organic chemicals, obtained from Indiana Harbor Canal, was used in the study. It was placed in an outdoor CDF simulator (i.e., a lysi-meter of dimensions 4 ft × 4 ft ×2 ft). A portable, dynamic flux chamber was used to periodically measure emissions of various polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). A weather station was set up to monitor and record the meteorological conditions during the experiment.The fluxes of several PAHs were monitored over time for 61/2 months. Initial 6-hr average fluxes varied from 2 to 20 ng/cm2/hr for six different PAHs. The flux values declined rapidly for all compounds soon after placement of the dredged material in the CDF. Chemical concentrations derived from flux values were generally of low magnitude compared with ambient standards. Data obtained from the experiment were compared against those predicted using models for air emissions. Model simulations showed that initially the flux was largely from exposed pore water from saturated (wet) sediment, whereas the long-term flux was controlled by diffusion through the pore air of the unsaturated sediment. Model predictions generally overestimated the measured emissions. A rainfall event was simulated, and the dredged material was reworked to simulate that typical of a CDF operation. Increased flux was observed upon reworking the dredged material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-373
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2001


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