Measuring air-water interfacial area for soils using the mass balance surfactant-tracer method

Juliana B. Araujo, Jon Mainhagu, Mark L. Brusseau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


There are several methods for conducting interfacial partitioning tracer tests to measure air-water interfacial area in porous media. One such approach is the mass balance surfactant tracer method. An advantage of the mass-balance method compared to other tracer-based methods is that a single test can produce multiple interfacial area measurements over a wide range of water saturations. The mass-balance method has been used to date only for glass beads or treated quartz sand. The purpose of this research is to investigate the effectiveness and implementability of the mass-balance method for application to more complex porous media. The results indicate that interfacial areas measured with the mass-balance method are consistent with values obtained with the miscible-displacement method. This includes results for a soil, for which solid-phase adsorption was a significant component of total tracer retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-202
Number of pages4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Interface
  • Interfacial area
  • Partitioning tracer
  • Tracer test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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