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Removal of Cationic Heavy Metal and HOC from Soil-Washed Water Using Activated Carbon

Authors: Chi Kyu Ahn, Young Mi Kim, Seung Han Woo, Jong Moon Park


Soil washing process with a surfactant solution is a potential technology for the rapid removal of hydrophobic organic compound (HOC) from soil. However, large amount of washed water would be produced during operation and this should be treated effectively by proper methods. The soil washed water for complex contaminated site with HOC and heavy metals might contain high amount of pollutants such as HOC and heavy metals as well as used surfactant. The heavy metals in the soil washed water have toxic effects on microbial activities thus these should be removed from the washed water before proceeding to a biological waste-water treatment system. Moreover, the used surfactant solutions are necessary to be recovered for reducing the soil washing operation cost. In order to simultaneously remove the heavy metals and HOC from soil-washed water, activated carbon (AC) was used in the present study. In an anionic-nonionic surfactant mixed solution, the Cd(II) and phenanthrene (PHE) were effectively removed by adsorption on activated carbon. The removal efficiency for Cd(II) was increased from 0.027 mmol-Cd/g-AC to 0.142 mmol-Cd/g-AC as the mole ratio of SDS increased in the presence of PHE. The adsorptive capacity of PHE was also increased according to the SDS mole ratio due to the decrement of molar solubilization ratios (MSR) for PHE in an anionic-nonionic surfactant mixture. The simultaneous adsorption of HOC and cationic heavy metals using activated carbon could be a useful method for surfactant recovery and the reduction of heavy metal toxicity in a surfactant-enhanced soil washing process.

Keywords: Activated carbon, Anionic-nonionic surfactant mixture, Cationic heavy metal, HOC, Soil washing

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