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“RESTORE is a really cool project, where students are able to deal with a wide range of projects involving soil contamination issues. I am very excited to work on RESTORE, especially on STAR project because, as an enthusiast for science involving smouldering combustion, I can work on small and big scale experiments and contribute to improve them. RESTORE also has a really good work environment with social events and dedicated supervisors and colleges ready to help every time or everything that you need.”

Project Title:
3D smoldering front propagation in the context of STAR technology development

Project Description:
Self-Sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR) is a new treatment technology with the potential to combine technical effectiveness, quick treatment, and substantial savings in operation and maintenance costs relative to currently available techniques for remediating groundwater and soil contamination. This technology is based upon the principle of ‘self-sustaining liquid smouldering’ which destroys NAPL in the subsurface, while simultaneously generating heat to sustain propagation through the subsurface. As a result, it is far less energy intensive (and therefore less costly to operate) than traditional thermal technologies for groundwater and soil remediation.

The goal of this project is to take STAR from a promising concept fully proven in the laboratory to a well understood technology to be proven in the field as commercially viable. To achieve this goal, three-dimensional experiments, exploring rates of propagation as a function of key engineering variables are required as well as a better understanding of kinetic reactions of smouldering of NAPLs contaminants (using Thermogravimetric analysis and reaction modeling) and numerical modeling, which will include both extending the front propagation model to 3D, and developing COMSOL for more complete incorporation of the physics/kinetics (variable density gases, variable viscosity liquids, Arrhenius equations, temperature modeling, etc).

Personal Background:
Marco is from Brazil and came to Western in September 2012 to work on RESTORE group as a Master student. Marco is graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Federal University of Espirito Santo in Brazil and he has got his Master’s degree also in Mechanical Engineering in 2012 from the same university. His Master’s thesis has involved the estimation of kinetic parameters for the smouldering combustion of oil shale, publishing two papers in prestigious journals. After complete his Master, Marco had the opportunity to do research with smouldering combustion in RESTORE group and he not hesitated to join it, where he had the chance to deal with some of the most environmental issues, becoming an extraordinarily challenge.