Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 13, Issue 7, pp 1189–1200 | Cite as

Optimization of arsenic and pentachlorophenol removal from soil using an experimental design methodology

  • Nicolas Reynier
  • Jean-François BlaisEmail author
  • Guy Mercier
  • Simon Besner



In this study, a soil-washing process was investigated for arsenic (As) and pentachlorophenol (PCP) removal from polluted soils. This research first evaluates the use of chemical reagents (HCl, HNO3, H2SO4, lactic acid, NaOH, KOH, Ca(OH)2, and ethanol) for the leaching of As and PCP from polluted soils.

Materials and methods

A Box–Behnken experimental design was used to optimize the main operating parameters for soil washing. A laboratory-scale leaching process was applied to treat four soils polluted with both organic ([PCP] i  = 2.5–30 mg kg−1) and inorganic ([As] i  = 50–250 mg kg−1, [Cr] i  = 35–220 mg kg−1, and [Cu] i  = 80–350 mg kg−1) compounds.

Results and discussion

Removals of 72–89, 43–62, 52–68, and 64–98 % were obtained for As, Cr, Cu, and PCP, respectively, using the optimized operating conditions ([NaOH] = 1 N, [cocamidopropylbetaine] i  = 2 % w w−1, t = 2 h, T = 80 °C, and PD = 10 %).


The use of NaOH, in combination with the surfactant, is efficient in reducing both organic and inorganic pollutants from soils with different levels of contamination.


Alkaline leaching Arsenic Pentachlorophenol Experimental design methodology Polluted soil Surfactant 



Sincere thanks are extended to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canada Research Chairs for their financial contributions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolas Reynier
    • 1
  • Jean-François Blais
    • 1
    Email author
  • Guy Mercier
    • 1
  • Simon Besner
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut National De La Recherche Scientifique, Terre et EnvironnementINRS-ETEQuébecCanada
  2. 2.Institut de recherche d’Hydro-Québec (IREQ)VarennesCanada

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