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Comparison of the effectiveness of soil heating prior or during in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) of aged PAH-contaminated soils


Thermal treatments prior or during chemical oxidation of aged polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-contaminated soils have already shown their ability to increase oxidation effectiveness. However, they were never compared on the same soil. Furthermore, oxygenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (O-PACs), by-products of PAH oxidation which may be more toxic and mobile than the parent PAHs, were very little monitored. In this study, two aged PAH-contaminated soils were heated prior (60 or 90 °C under Ar for 1 week) or during oxidation (60 °C for 1 week) with permanganate and persulfate, and 11 O-PACs were monitored in addition to the 16 US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) PAHs. Oxidant doses were based on the stoichiometric oxidant demand of the extractable organic fraction of soils by using organic solvents, which is more representative of the actual contamination than only the 16 US EPA PAHs. Higher temperatures actually resulted in more pollutant degradation. Two treatments were about three times more effective than the others: soil heating to 60 °C during persulfate oxidation and soil preheating to 90 °C followed by permanganate oxidation. The results of this study showed that persulfate effectiveness was largely due to its thermal activation, whereas permanganate was more sensitive to PAH availability than persulfate. The technical feasibility of these two treatments will soon be field-tested in the unsaturated zone of one of the studied aged PAH-contaminated soils.

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The authors would like to thank the GISFI, a French scientific interest group on soil pollution, (http://www.gisfi.fr) and the French National Association for Research and Technology (ANRT). They also would like to thank the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) for funding the BIOXYVAL project which is the framework of this study. Finally, they want to thank ArcelorMittal France, especially Dr. P. Charbonnier, for providing the CP soil.

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Correspondence to Marie-Odile Simonnot.

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Ranc, B., Faure, P., Croze, V. et al. Comparison of the effectiveness of soil heating prior or during in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) of aged PAH-contaminated soils. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 11265–11278 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-8731-0

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  • Activated persulfate
  • Permanganate
  • Temperature
  • PAH availability
  • Oxygenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (O-PACs)
  • Remediation