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Remediation of a biodiesel blend-contaminated soil by using a modified Fenton process

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A soil contaminated with a B20 biodiesel blend (20 % biodiesel, 80 % diesel) has been treated by modified Fenton process with or without chelant addition. All experiments were conducted without pH adjustment. The reagents used were as follows: hydrogen peroxide as oxidant (400–4,000 mmol L−1), ferric ion as catalyst (5–20 mmol L−1), and trisodium citrate (50 mmol L−1) as chelating agent. Soil was spiked at two different pollutant concentrations (1,000–10,000 mg diesel kg−1 soil). Higher total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) removal efficiencies were obtained (up to 75 %) after the treatment in the absence of the chelant due to the low pH obtained in this case. In the presence of chelant, the TPH conversion obtained was lower because both higher pH is obtained and chelant competes with diesel for the oxidant. On the other hand, at neutral pH, the lifetime of the oxidant was increased. Fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) are easier to remove than diesel aliphatic hydrocarbons from the blend. An important decrease of the aqueous phase toxicity was observed after the modified Fenton reaction, supporting that nontoxic by-products were released to the aqueous phase during the treatment.

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The authors acknowledge financial support from the Comunidad Autonomy de Madrid provided throughout project CARESOIL (S2009AMB-1648) and from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, project CTM2010-16693.

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Correspondence to Aurora Santos.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Pardo, F., Rosas, J.M., Santos, A. et al. Remediation of a biodiesel blend-contaminated soil by using a modified Fenton process. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21, 12198–12207 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-014-2997-2

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  • Modified Fenton
  • Soil remediation
  • Diesel/biodiesel fractions
  • Ecotoxicity