Significant advances have occurred in the application of surfactants for the remediation of soils contaminated by a wide variety of oils and chlorinated solvents. Many new laboratory and field data have become available and provide a basis for a better understanding of the use of surfactants and how to design remediation projects. Surfactant selection must be tailored to the specific site conditions and contaminants and satisfy many stringent criteria including regulatory and cost considerations. We illustrate our approach to surfactant selection with an example that required the synthesis and testing of a completely new surfactant for a very viscous oil which was outside the range of experience with surfactants for either enhanced oil recovery or surfactant enhanced aquifer remediation.

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