Differences in infiltration and evaporation of diesel and gasoline droplets spilled onto concrete pavement

Bernat Adrià Mora, Markus Hilpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Pollution at gas stations due to small spills that occur during vehicle refueling have received little attention. We have performed laboratory experiments to assess evaporation and infiltration of fuel spilled onto concrete. Changes in the concrete mass after small amounts of diesel and gasoline were spilled have been analyzed. Variation in humidity, among other parameters, clearly affects the measured mass since condensed water is constantly added to or released from the concrete. This mass experiences an about exponential decay in time. The difference in behavior between both fuel types is important as the percentage of evaporated mass is much larger for gasoline, while infiltration is more significant for diesel. A statistical analysis suggests that the initial spill amount does not significantly affect the fraction of infiltrated fuel over time. This finding is in agreement with pore-scale simulations that we performed. A significant amount of fuel could be seeping into soil and groundwater underneath concrete pavement at gas stations or could be released to the atmosphere. Possible solutions for pavement and groundwater pollution are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1271
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 19 2017


  • Air pollution
  • Concrete pavement
  • Evaporation
  • Fuel spills
  • Gas station
  • Groundwater contamination
  • Infiltration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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