Soil Remediation and Rehabilitation

Volume 23 of the series Environmental Pollution pp 201-278


Soil Decontamination

  • Helmut MeuserAffiliated withFaculty A&L, University of Applied Sciences Email author 

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All relevant decontamination approaches are introduced in this chapter. In particular, the widely used technical devices for soil washing, bioremediation and thermal treatment are explained in detail by using flow charts and a number of pictures. The approaches are also discussed in relation to the soil properties and contaminant parameters which are important for the selection of these strategies. Furthermore, the soil washing principle considers extraction methods involving solubilising agents. Regarding bioremediation, biochemical details about the kinetic of the degradation processes for pollutants like BTEX aromates, TPH and PAH are also included. The problem of material reuse after thermal treatment is a further point of consideration. In relation to the techniques, necessary soil preparation steps such as screening, magnetic separation and light fraction removal are introduced. Apart from the common techniques mentioned, the idea of phytoremediation is discussed, taking all relevant approaches such as phytoextraction and phytodegradation into account. Besides measures oriented towards decontamination, the phytostabilisation method aimed at a physical stabilisation of the damaged soil is mentioned. Moreover, the electrokinetic treatment of contaminated soils is also a part of this chapter, in which technical devices and the dependence on soil ­properties and contaminant characteristics are discussed. In general, advantages and disadvantages in conjunction with the different approaches are contrasted. Accordingly, the description of the decontamination measures makes it possible to obtain a comprehensive overview of the possibilities to remediate polluted soils. Information about treatment centres completes the chapter.


Bioremediation Contaminant treatability Electroremediation Phytoremediation Soil washing Thermal treatment