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Dioxin removal from contaminated soils by ethanol washing
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
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2010 (English)In: Journal of Hazardous Materials, ISSN 0304-3894, E-ISSN 1873-3336, ISSN 0304-3894, Vol. 179, no 1-3, 393-399 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to investigate the potential utility of ethanol washing for remediating soils contaminated with polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), as a cost-efficient alternative to conventional remediation methods of PCDD/F-contaminated soils. Initially, screening experiments were performed with a two-level full factorial design to examine the effects of temperature, extraction time and ethanol concentration on the removal efficiency. The screening experiments showed that the ethanol concentration was the most important parameter. In addition, repeated washing cycles considerably improved the results. Ethanol washing conditions were then selected (10 wash cycles with 75% ethanol at 60 °C), and applied to four soils with different soil characteristics and contamination levels to test the robustness of the selected method. Treatment efficiencies of 81% and 85% were obtained for a lightly contaminated sandy–silty soil and a highly contaminated clay soil rich in graphite particles, respectively. Even higher treatment efficiencies (≥97%) were obtained for two other highly contaminated soils, one of which contained high amounts of organic matter. PCDD/Fs were found to both dissolve in the solvent and migrate into it as species adsorbed to particles. The relative contributions of these mechanisms and the overall efficiency of the removal seem to depend on contaminant concentration, the types of carbon in the soil matrix and the particle size distribution. The study shows that ethanol washing has effective remediation potential for a variety of PCDD/F-contaminated soils.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2010. Vol. 179, no 1-3, 393-399 p.
Keyword [en]
Soil remediation, pollutants, PCDD, PCDF, solvent washing
National Category
Chemical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-21008DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2010.03.017ISI: 000278626700054OAI: diva2:210298
Available from: 2009-04-01 Created: 2009-03-31 Last updated: 2012-02-27Bibliographically 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.

76 p.
Fenton’s reagent, ozone, solvent washing, granular activated carbon, GAC
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
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)
Available from: 2009-04-03 Created: 2009-04-01 Last updated: 2009-04-03Bibliographically approved

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Jonsson, SofiaLind, HenrikLundstedt, StaffanHaglund, PeterTysklind, Mats
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