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Activated carbon amendment to sequester PAHs in contaminated soil: A lysimeter field trial

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David WernerORCiD


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Activated carbon (AC) amendment is an innovative method for the in situ remediation of contaminated soils. A field-scale AC amendment of either 2% powder or granular AC (PAC and GAC) to a PAH contaminated soil was carried out in Norway. The PAH concentration in drainage water from the field plot was measured with a direct solvent extraction and by deploying polyoxymethylene (POM) passive samplers. In addition, POM samplers were dug directly in the AC amended and unamended soil in order to monitor the reduction in free aqueous PAH concentrations in the soil pore water. The total PAH concentration in the drainage water, measured by direct solvent extraction of the water, was reduced by 14% for the PAC amendment and by 59% for GAC, 12 months after amendment. Measurements carried out with POM showed a reduction of 93% for PAC and 56% for GAC. The free aqueous PAH concentration in soil pore water was reduced 93% and 76%, 17 and 28 months after PAC amendment, compared to 84% and 69% for GAC. PAC, in contrast to GAC, was more effective for reducing freely dissolved concentrations than total dissolved ones. This could tentatively be explained by leaching of microscopic AC particles from PAC. Secondary chemical effects of the AC amendment were monitored by considering concentration changes in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nutrients. DOC was bound by AC, while the concentrations of nutrients (NO3, NO2, NH4, PO4, P-total, K. Ca and Mg) were variable and likely affected by external environmental factors. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hale SE, Elmquist M, Brandli R, Hartnik T, Jakob L, Henriksen T, Werner D, Cornelissen G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Chemosphere

Year: 2012

Volume: 87

Issue: 2

Pages: 177-184

Print publication date: 20/01/2012

ISSN (print): 0045-6535

ISSN (electronic): 1879-1298

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.12.015


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Funder referenceFunder name
Lindum Ressurs and Gjenvinning A/S in Norway
192936Research Council of Norway