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Activated carbon amendment as a treatment for residual DDT in sediment from a superfund site in San Francisco Bay, Richmond, California, USA

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David WernerORCiD, Professor Richard Luthy


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Pesticide formulators formerly operating at Lauritzen Channel, a portion of San Francisco Bay near Richmond (CA, USA), caused contamination of sediment with dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). The present study evaluated the distribution of residual DDT in channel sediment six years following extensive remedial dredging. High DDT concentrations (up to 252 mg/ kg) were found in Young Bay Mud sampled across the channel. Particle analyses showed most of the contamination is contained in the clay/silt sediment fraction, and desorption tests showed that availability is greater for DDT metabolites than parent DDT. The present study examined the feasibility of using activated carbon amendment to sequester DDT from sediment, including an evaluation of reactivated carbon as a less costly alternative to virgin activated carbons. Treatment success of activated carbon amendment to sediment collected from Lauritzen Channel was measured by reductions in aqueous equilibrium concentrations and uptake in semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs). Four different activated carbons were tested and, after one month of treatment with 3.2 weight % carbon, DDT aqueous equilibrium concentrations were reduced up to 83% and SPMD uptake was reduced up to 91%. Reactivated carbon was comparable with virgin carbons in all tests. Reduction in SPMD uptake of DDT by treatment with 3.2% reactivated carbon increased to 99% after 26 months of treatment. The effectiveness of activated carbon was dependent on the type, size, dose, and contact time. The results show the potential usefulness of activated carbon amendment as a follow-up remedial technology for management of residuals after dredging contaminated sediment. © 2007 SETAC.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tomaszewski JE, Werner D, Luthy RG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

Year: 2007

Volume: 26

Issue: 10

Pages: 2143-2150

ISSN (print): 0730-7268

ISSN (electronic): 1552-8618

Publisher: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry


DOI: 10.1897/07-179R.1

PubMed id: 17867891


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