A review of centrifugal testing of gasoline contamination and remediation

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011 Aug;8(8):3496-513. doi: 10.3390/ijerph8083496. Epub 2011 Aug 24.


Leaking underground storage tanks (USTs) containing gasoline represent a significant public health hazard. Virtually undetectable to the UST owner, gasoline leaks can contaminate groundwater supplies. In order to develop remediation plans one must know the extent of gasoline contamination. Centrifugal simulations showed that in silty and sandy soils gasoline moved due to the physical process of advection and was retained as a pool of free products above the water table. However, in clayey soils there was a limited leak with lateral spreading and without pooling of free products above the water table. Amount leaked depends on both the type of soil underneath the USTs and the amount of corrosion. The soil vapor extraction (SVE) technology seems to be an effective method to remove contaminants from above the water table in contaminated sites. In-situ air sparging (IAS) is a groundwater remediation technology for contamination below the water table, which involves the injection of air under pressure into a well installed into the saturated zone. However, current state of the art is not adequate to develop a design guide for site implementation. New information is being currently generated by both centrifugal tests as well as theoretical models to develop a design guide for IAS. The petroleum contaminated soils excavated from leaking UST sites can be used for construction of highway pavements, specifically as sub-base material or blended and used as hot or cold mix asphalt concrete. Cost analysis shows that 5% petroleum contaminated soils is included in hot or cold mix asphalt concrete can save US$5.00 production cost per ton of asphalt produced.

Keywords: centrifugal modeling; gasoline contamination; in-situ air sparging; leaking underground storage tanks; remediation and reuse; soil vapor extraction.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Pollution / economics
  • Environmental Pollution / prevention & control*
  • Environmental Restoration and Remediation / economics
  • Environmental Restoration and Remediation / methods*
  • Gasoline / analysis*
  • Groundwater / analysis
  • Hydrocarbons / chemistry
  • Hydrocarbons / economics
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Soil / chemistry
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis*
  • Volatilization


  • Gasoline
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Soil
  • Soil Pollutants
  • asphalt