Cleaning up spilled gasoline with steam: Compositional simulations

A. E. Adenekan*, T. W. Patzek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


A finite-difference compositional simulator has been developed and tested at U.C. Berkeley to model the flow of mixtures of Nonaqueous Phase Liquids (NAPLs) through the air zone and into aquifers. The simulator has been successfully used to history-match a steam injection pilot at a `Clean Site' near the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California - a test site for the Gasoline Spill Area (GSA) cleanup pilot planned for early '93. Because of its multicomponent capabilities, the simulator has been used to calculate (a) production rates of individual gasoline components in the GSA to size treatment facilities, (b) areal and vertical distribution of gasoline after the first cycle of steam injection, and (c) steam injection rate that limits growth of the steam zone beyond the cleanup area. It has been shown that gasoline present in the permeable sands and gravel layers can be successfully recovered by injecting steam into these layers in a 7-spot pattern. For the conditions assumed in the model, it will take less than 16 days to recover nearly all of the gasoline in the sands and gravel layers. By that time, the maximum aqueous concentrations of all hydrocarbon components in these layers will have dropped to less than 0.01 mg/l. The results show that vaporization, followed by bulk movement of the vapor to the production well is the dominant recovery mechanism. In terms of time required for cleanup, model results are most sensitive to permeability of the medium. Other parameters, such as the relative permeabilities and the number of components, also affect the outcome, but to a lesser extent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 12th SPE Symposium on Reservoir Simulation - New Orleans, LA, USA
Duration: Feb 28 1993Mar 3 1993


OtherProceedings of the 12th SPE Symposium on Reservoir Simulation
CityNew Orleans, LA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cleaning up spilled gasoline with steam: Compositional simulations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this