Numerical Experiments on Fate and Transport of Benzene with Biological Clogging in Vadoze Zone

  • Berlin MohanadhasEmail author
  • G. Suresh Kumar
Original Article


A one-dimensional numerical model is developed to predict the benzene concentration in the unsaturated zone with special emphasis on the impact of biological clogging on benzene transport while the bacteria remain in mobile condition. The numerical results suggest that the water saturation during the biological clogging condition reaches its maximum value of approximately 51% after nearly 20 days, whereas the water saturation reaches the maximum value (approximately 54%) within 3 days in the absence of clogging condition while the bacteria remain mobile. A similar trend has been observed at greater depths also. Further, the results indicate that the hydraulic conductivity profile during the presence of biological clogging shows an increasing trend from its initial value, which is observed later in time when the depth increases, whereas the increase in hydraulic conductivity occurs very early for the entire depth during the absence of biological clogging. Similar observations are also experienced for the benzene concentration profile during the scenario of mobile bacteria. Conversely, immobile bacteria play a predominant role on accumulation of more bacteria in the shallow depths as compared with mobile bacteria and eventually increase the microbial saturation. Moreover, the peak value of hydraulic conductivity and benzene concentration are considerably reduced during the presence of biological clogging during the immobile bacterial condition. This situation yields the larger residence time in the shallow depths, which in turn enhances the biodegradation of benzene in the shallow depths; hence, the groundwater contamination by benzene in the deeper zone is prevented.


Benzene Unsaturated zone Numerical modelling Biological clogging 



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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringNational Institute of Technology Arunachal PradeshYupiaIndia
  2. 2.Department of Ocean EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology MadrasChennaiIndia

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