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Degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in contaminated soils by Fenton's reagent: a multivariate evaluation of the importance of soil characteristics and PAH properties
Örebro University, Department of Natural Sciences. (MTM)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6217-8857
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2007 (English)In: Journal of Hazardous Materials, ISSN 0304-3894, E-ISSN 1873-3336, Vol. 149, no 1, p. 86-96Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study, we investigated how the chemical degradability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in aged soil samples from various contaminated sites is influenced by soil characteristics and by PAH physico-chemical properties. The results were evaluated using the multivariate statistical tool, partial least squares projections to latent structures (PLS). The PAH-contaminated soil samples were characterised (by pH, conductivity, organic matter content, oxide content, particle size, specific surface area, and the time elapsed since the contamination events, i.e. age), and subjected to relatively mild, slurry-phase Fenton's reaction conditions. In general, low molecular weight PAHs were degraded to a greater extent than large, highly hydrophobic variants. Anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, and pyrene were more susceptible to degradation than other, structurally similar, PAHs; an effect attributed to the known susceptibility of these compounds to reactions with hydroxyl radicals. The presence of organic matter and the specific surface area of the soil were clearly negatively correlated with the degradation of bi- and tri-cyclic PAHs, whereas the amount of degraded organic matter correlated positively with the degradation of PAHs with five or six fused rings. This was explained by enhanced availability of the larger PAHs, which were released from the organic matter as it degraded. Our study shows that sorption of PAHs is influenced by a combination of soil characteristics and physico-chemical properties of individual PAHs. Multivariate statistical tools have great potential for assessing the relative importance of these parameters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 149, no 1, p. 86-96
National Category
Natural Sciences Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-5304DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2007.03.057PubMedID: 17513044OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-5304DiVA, id: diva2:158667
Available from: 2009-02-03 Created: 2009-02-03 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The influence of soil and contaminant properties on the efficiency of physical and chemical soil remediation methods
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The influence of soil and contaminant properties on the efficiency of physical and chemical soil remediation methods
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

 A vast number of sites that have been contaminated by industrial activities have been identified worldwide. Many such sites now pose serious risks to humans and the environment. Given the large number of contaminated sites there is a great need for efficient, cost-effective  remediation methods. Extensive research has therefore been focused on the development of such methods. However, the remediation of old industrial sites is challenging, for several reasons.

One major  problem is that organic contaminants become increasingly strongly sequestered as they persist in the soil matrix for a long period of time. This process is often referred to as ‘aging’, and leads to decreasing availability of the contaminants, which also affects the remediation efficiency. In the work underlying this thesis, the influence of soil and contaminant properties on the efficiency of various physical and chemical soil remediation methods was investigated. The investigated contaminants were polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs).

Briefly, the results show that as the size of soil particles decreases the contaminants become more strongly sorbed to the soil’s matrix, probably due to the accompanying increases in specific surface area. This affected the efficiency of the removal of organic pollutants by both a process based on solvent washing and processes based on chemical oxidation. The sorption strength is also affected by the hydrophobicity of the contaminants. However, for a number of the investigated PAHs their chemical reactivity was found to be of greater importance for the degradation efficiency. Further, the organic content of a soil is often regarded as the most important soil parameter for adsorption of hydrophobic compounds. In these studies the effect of this parameter was found to be particularly pronounced for the oxidation of low molecular weight PAHs, but larger PAHs were strongly adsorbed even at low levels of organic matter. However, for these PAHs the degradation efficiency was positively correlated to the amount of degraded organic matter, probably due to the organic matter being oxidized to smaller and less hydrophobic forms. The amount of organic matter in the soil had little effect on the removal efficiency obtained by the solvent-washing process. However, it had strong influence on the performance of a subsequent, granular activated carbon-based post-treatment of the washing liquid.

In conclusion, the results in this thesis show that remediation of contaminated soils is a complex process, the efficiency of which will be affected by the soil matrix as well as the properties of the contaminants present at the site. However, by acquiring thorough knowledge of the parameters affecting the treatability of a soil it is possible to select appropriate remediation methods, and optimize them in terms of both remediation efficiency and costs for site- and contaminant-specific applications.

Publisher
p. 76
Keyword
Fenton’s reagent, ozone, solvent washing, granular activated carbon, GAC
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Cardiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-21040 (URN)978-91-7264-763-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-04-24, KB3B1, KBC-huset, Umeå Universitet, 901 87 Umeå, 13:00 (English)
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Available from: 2009-04-03 Created: 2009-04-01 Last updated: 2009-04-03Bibliographically approved

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