Wenxia Wei


3 Identification of Fluorinated Methylsiloxanes in Environmental Matrices Near a Manufacturing Plant in Eastern China

Authors: Lin Xu, Liqin Zhi, Wenxia Wei, Yaqi Cai


Recently, replacing some of the methyl groups in polydimethylsiloxanes with other functional groups has been extensively explored to obtain modified polymethylsiloxanes with special properties that enable new industrial applications. Fluorinated polysiloxanes, one type of these modified polysiloxanes, are based on a siloxane backbone with fluorinated groups attached to the side chains of polysiloxanes. As a commercially significant material, poly[methyl(trifluoropropyl)siloxane] (PMTFPS) has sufficient fluorine content to be useful as a fuel-and oil-resistant elastomer, which combines both the chemical and solvent resistance of fluorocarbons and the wide temperature range applicability of organosilicones. PMTFPS products can be used in many applications in which resistance to fuel, oils and hydrocarbon solvents is required, including use as lubricants in bearings, sealants, and elastomers for aerospace and automotive fuel systems. Fluorinated methylsiloxanes, a type of modified methylsiloxane, include tris(trifluoropropyl)trimethylcyclotrisiloxane (D3F) and tetrakis(trifluoropropyl)tetramethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4F), both of which contain trifluoropropyl groups in the side chains of cyclic methylsiloxanes. D3F, as an important monomer in the manufacture of PMTFPS, is often present as an impurity in PMTFPS. In addition, the synthesis of PMTFPS from D3F could form other fluorinated methylsiloxanes with low molecular weights (such as D4F). The yearly demand and production volumes of D3F increased rapidly all over world. Fluorinated methylsiloxanes might be released into the environment via different pathways during the production and application of PMTFPS. However, there is a lack of data concerning the emission, environmental occurrence and potential environmental impacts of fluorinated methylsiloxanes. Here, we report fluorinated methylsiloxanes (D3F and D4F) in surface water and sediment samples collected near a fluorinated methylsiloxane manufacturing plant in Weihai, China. The concentrations of D3F and D4F in surface water ranged from 3.29 to 291 ng/L and from 7.02 to 168 ng/L, respectively. The concentrations of D3F and D4F in sediment ranged from 11.8 to 5478 ng/g and from 17.2 to 6277 ng/g, respectively. In simulation experiment, the half-lives of D3F and D4F at different pH values (5.2, 6.4, 7.2, 8.3 and 9.2) varied from 80.6 to 154 h and from 267 to 533 h respectively. CF₃(CH₂)₂MeSi(OH)₂ was identified as one of the main hydrolysis products of fluorinated methylsiloxanes. It was also detected in the river samples at concentrations of 72.1-182.9 ng/L. In addition, the slow rearrangement of D3F (spiked concentration = 500 ng/L) to D4F (concentration = 11.0-22.7 ng/L) was also found during 336h hydrolysis experiment.

Keywords: Hydrolysis, Sediment, fluorinated methylsiloxanes, environmental matrices

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2 Field Study of Chlorinated Aliphatic Hydrocarbons Degradation in Contaminated Groundwater via Micron Zero-Valent Iron Coupled with Biostimulation

Authors: Wenxia Wei, Naijin Wu, Peizhong Li, Haijian Wang, Yun Song


Chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAHs) pollution poses a severe threat to human health and is persistent in groundwater. Although chemical reduction or bioremediation is effective, it is still hard to achieve their complete and rapid dechlorination. Recently, the combination of zero-valent iron and biostimulation has been considered to be one of the most promising strategies, but field studies of this technology are scarce. In a typical site contaminated by various types of CAHs, basic physicochemical parameters of groundwater, CAHs and their product concentrations, and microbial abundance and diversity were monitored after a remediation slurry containing both micron zero-valent iron (mZVI) and biostimulation components were directly injected into the aquifer. Results showed that groundwater could form and keep low oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), a neutral pH, and anoxic conditions after different degrees of fluctuations, which was benefit for the reductive dechlorination of CAHs. The injection also caused an obvious increase in the total organic carbon (TOC) concentration and sulfate reduction. After 253 days post-injection, the mean concentration of total chlorinated ethylene (CEE) from two monitoring wells decreased from 304 μg/L to 8 μg/L, and total chlorinated ethane (CEA) decreased from 548 μg/L to 108 μg/L. Occurrence of chloroethane (CA) suggested that hydrogenolysis dechlorination was one of the main degradation pathways for CEA, and also hints that biological dechlorination was activated. A significant increase of ethylene at day 67 post-injection indicated that dechlorination was complete. Additionally, the total bacterial counts increased by 2-3 orders of magnitude after 253 days post-injection. And the microbial species richness decreased and gradually changed to anaerobic/fermentative bacteria. The relative abundance of potential degradation bacteria increased corresponding to the degradation of CAHs. This work demonstrates that mZVI and biostimulation can be combined to achieve the efficient removal of various CAHs from contaminated groundwater sources.

Keywords: Groundwater, Biostimulation, Field Study, chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons, zero-valent iron

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1 Evaluation of Spatial Distribution Prediction for Site-Scale Soil Contaminants Based on Partition Interpolation

Authors: Wenxia Wei, Pengwei Qiao, Sucai Yang


Soil pollution has become an important issue in China. Accurate spatial distribution prediction of pollutants with interpolation methods is the basis for soil remediation in the site. However, a relatively strong variability of pollutants would decrease the prediction accuracy. Theoretically, partition interpolation can result in accurate prediction results. In order to verify the applicability of partition interpolation for a site, benzo (b) fluoranthene (BbF) in four soil layers was adopted as the research object in this paper. IDW (inverse distance weighting)-, RBF (radial basis function)-and OK (ordinary kriging)-based partition interpolation accuracies were evaluated, and their influential factors were analyzed; then, the uncertainty and applicability of partition interpolation were determined. Three conclusions were drawn. (1) The prediction error of partitioned interpolation decreased by 70% compared to unpartitioned interpolation. (2) Partition interpolation reduced the impact of high CV (coefficient of variation) and high concentration value on the prediction accuracy. (3) The prediction accuracy of IDW-based partition interpolation was higher than that of RBF- and OK-based partition interpolation, and it was suitable for the identification of highly polluted areas at a contaminated site. These results provide a useful method to obtain relatively accurate spatial distribution information of pollutants and to identify highly polluted areas, which is important for soil pollution remediation in the site.

Keywords: Soil pollution, Uncertainty, Accuracy, applicability, site, partition interpolation

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