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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - SOIL PHYSICS

Rapid Automated Measurement System for Simultaneous Determination of Effective Air-Filled Porosity and Soil Gas Diffusivity


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 75 No. 2, p. 408-417
    Received: Mar 2, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): jo.bonroy@ugent.be
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  1. J. Bonroy *a,
  2. M. Volckaerta and
  3. P. Seuntjensabc
  1. a Dep. of Soil Management, Ghent Univ., Coupure Links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
    b VITO, Flemish Inst. for Technological Research, Environmental Modelling Unit, Boeretang 200, 2400 Mol, Belgium
    c Dep. of Bioscience Engineering, Univ. of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, 2020 Antwerp, Belgium


The effective air-filled porosity and the gas diffusion coefficient are important soil parameters determining the success of soil bioremediation projects such as (bio)venting and (bio)sparging methods in combination with soil vapor extraction. We have developed a new method to sequentially measure the effective air-filled porosity and the soil gas diffusion coefficient of a soil sample. During the purging of the sample, a fast and accurate measurement of the effective air-filled porosity can be obtained. The subsequent diffusion measurement does not require a zero-O2 concentration in the soil sample. The procedure further allows the calculation of the soil gas diffusion coefficient before an equilibrium O2 concentration has been reached. The results are obtained by combining the data of the inlet and outlet compartment in a single equation. A stable reading is reached when the results for the inlet and outlet compartment coincide with the results from the combined equation. The analysis time is reduced by 89 to 96% compared with methods that run until an equilibrium concentration has been reached. Moreover, combining data from inlet and outlet compartments increases the accuracy of the diffusivity measurement by a factor of two compared with previous methods.

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