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Effect of activated carbon and biochars on the bioavailability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in different industrially contaminated soils

TitleEffect of activated carbon and biochars on the bioavailability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in different industrially contaminated soils
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKołtowski, Michał, Hilber Isabel, Bucheli Thomas D., and Oleszczuk Patryk
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
ISSN1614-7499
Abstract

Coal production negatively affects the environment by the emission of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Two soils (KOK and KB) from a coking plant area was investigated and their total PAH concentration was 40 and 17 mg/kg for the sum (∑) 16 US EPA PAHs, respectively. A third soil was sampled from a bitumen plant area and was characterized by 9 mg/kg ∑16 US EPA PAHs. To reduce the freely dissolved concentration (Cfree) of the PAHs in the soil pore water, active carbon (AC) and two biochars pyrolysed from wheat straw (biochar-S) and willow (biochar-W) were added to the soils at 0.5–5 % (w/w), each. The AC performed best and reduced the Cfree by 51–98 % already at the lowest dose. The biochars needed doses up to 2.5 % to significantly reduce the Cfree by 44–86 % in the biochar-S and by 37–68 % in the biochar-W amended soils. The high black carbon (BC) content of up to 2.3 % in the Silesian soils competed with the sorption sites of the carbon amendments and the performance of the remediation was a consequence of the contaminant’s source and the distribution between the BC and the AC/biochars. In contrast, the carbon amendment could best reduce the Cfree in the Lublin soil where the BC content was normal (0.05 %). It is therefore crucial to know the contaminant’s source and history of a sample/site to choose the appropriate carbon amendment not only for remediation success but also for economic reasons.

URLhttp://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-016-6196-1
DOI10.1007/s11356-016-6196-1
Short TitleEnviron Sci Pollut Res