Oxygenated fuel induced cosolvent effects on the dissolution of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons from contaminated soil

Colin S ChenJoseph J Delfino


The cosolvent-induced dissolution of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from contaminated soil caused by oxygenated fuel spills was studied. Oxygenated fuel induces a solvent flushing effect on the contaminated soil due to the high content of oxygenated compounds (i.e., methanol, ethanol, and methyl tert butyl ether (MTBE)). The miscible displacement techniques were applied to evaluate the increased potential for secondary contamination in an impacted site. Significant solubility enhancement of the 18 PAHs monitored during fuel spill simulation and cosolvent flushing is clearly evident when compared to normal water dissolution. The breakthrough concentration profile for each PAH constituent was integrated over the cumulative effluent volume (i.e., the zeroth moment) to determine the total PAH mass removed during the experiment. The removal efficiency of PAHs ranges from 46.6% to 99.9% in three oxygenated fuels (i.e., M85, E85, and oxygenated gasoline) during the fuel spill. Several factors including hydrophobicity of compounds, nonequilibrium dissolution due to nonuniform coal tar distribution, and heterogeneous media properties affect the oxygenated compound-induced dissolution process. This study provides a basis to pre...Continue Reading


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