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Abstract

The most common chemical’s spills in typical transportation accidents are those with petroleum products such as diesel fuel, the consequence of which is an extensive pollution of the soil. In order to plan properly fuel recovery from the soil, it is important to gain information about the soil depth which may be affected by pollutant and to predict the pollutant concentration in different soil layers. This study deals with the impact of basic atmospheric conditions, i.e. air temperature and humidity on the diesel fuel migration through the soil. The diesel fuel was spilled into columns (L = 30 cm; D = 4.6 cm) filled with sandy and clay soil samples, and its concentrations at various depths were measured after 11 days under various air temperature (20 and 40°C) and relative humidity (30–100%) conditions. The effects observed were explained by understanding physical processes, such as fuel evaporation, diffusion and adsorption on soil grains. The increase in temperature results in higher fuel evaporation loss and its faster vertical migration. The relative humidity effect is less pronounced but more complex, and it depends much on the soil type.
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