Groundwater and soil contamination caused by light nonaqueous phase liquids (LNAPLs) spills and leakage in petroleum industry is currently one of the major environmental concerns in North America. Numerous site remediation technologies, generally classified as ex-situ and in-situ remediation techniques, have been developed and implemented to clean up the contaminated sites in the last two decades. One of the problems associated with ex-situ remediation is the cost of operation. In recent years, in-situ techniques have acquired popularity. However, the selection process of the desired techniques needs a large amount of knowledge. Insufficient expertise in the process may result in unnecessary inflation of expenses. In this study, petroleum waste management experts and Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers worked together to develop an expert system (ES) for the management of petroleum contaminated sites. Various AI techniques were used to construct a useful tool for site remediaiton decision-making. This paper presents the knowledge engineering processes of knowledge acquisition, conceptual design, and system implementation in the project. The expert system was applied to a real-world case study and the results show that the expert system can generate desired remediation alternatives to assist decision-makers. The application case study constitutes partial validation of the prototype expert system. 


Keywords: Petroleum waste, soil, groundwater, remediation, artificial intelligence, expert system,   contamination