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United States Environmental Protection Agency
The Basics: Understanding the Behavior of Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (LNAPLs) in the Subsurface
Sponsored by: Remediation Technologies Development Forum, Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (NAPL) Cleanup Alliance
Original Time/Date of Presentation:

December 12, 2005, 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM, EST (19:00-21:30 GMT)

Presentation Overview:

This seminar provides a basic description of the behavior of LNAPLs (specifically, petroleum hydrocarbon liquids) in the subsurface. It is offered by the Remediation Technologies Development Forum (RTDF)/Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (NAPL) Cleanup Alliance, a public-private partnership supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Technology Innovation and Field Services Division. Presenting the training will be Robert Maxey, U.S. EPA Office of Solid Waste and Vic Kremesec, BP. Presenters begin by defining important terms to provide a foundation for discussing LNAPL behavior. They will explain how the general understanding of the behavior of LNAPL in the subsurface has changed over the years. Seminar presentations also will explore how aquifer properties—like porosity, saturation, and capillary pressure—affect LNAPL distribution and how fluid properties—like viscosity, density, and interfacial and surface tension—affect LNAPL distribution and recovery. LNAPL distribution and its saturation determine its conductivity, which, in turn, influences its migration and potential hydraulic recovery. Presenters will introduce methods of predicting and evaluating LNAPL recovery, briefly discuss some assessment methods and techniques, and look at core photos taken from actual LNAPL plumes. Finally, five case studies will illustrate how the basic concepts conveyed in this training have been applied in the real world.

Presenters: Instructor: Moderator:
  • Ellen Rubin, U.S. EPA Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (
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