Air sparging, also called in situ stripping, is an innovative technology that injects air into the saturated zone to remove contaminants from the water. The air injected in the saturated area creates bubbles that rise and carry trapped and dissolved contaminants into the unsaturated zone above the water table (Camp Dresser & McKee, Inc. 1992). This technology is typically used in conjunction with soil vapor extraction (SVE) to enhance the removal rate of contaminants from the saturated and unsaturated zones (Bohler et al. 1990). As volatile organic compounds reach the unsaturated zone, they are captured by the SVE vapor wells that are screened in the unsaturated zone, as illustrated in Figure 9.18.2. Air sparging also provides an oxygen source which may stimulate bioremediation of some contaminants. Air sparging is applicable for contaminants which have a high Henry's constant or high vapor pressure in soils with high permeability.
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