Remediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soils by Microwave Batch Irradiation
Keywords:Hydrocarbons, Petroleum, Microwave, Contaminated soils, remediation
Three different hydrocarbon contaminated soil samples (L,M,N) obtained from the United Kingdom were subjected to microwave irradiation using a 1.5 kW and 15 kW batch processing microwave systems. The samples were subjected to different microwave power levels and residence times, and the residual organics in the treated samples were extracted using Accelerated Solvent Extractor (ASE 200). By fractionation, the aromatics and aliphatic in the extracted organics were separated. A Varian CP-3800 gas chromatograph coupled to a Varian 1200 Quadrupole mass spectrometer was used to analyse the aromatic fraction to ascertain the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) level in the treated samples. A thermogravimetric analyser (TGA) was also used to analyse the samples to ascertain the relationship between sample weight losses with increasing temperature. A maximum of 98 and 96% organic removal was recorded for the 15 kW and 1.5 kW batch systems respectively. The results obtained gave an indication that the higher the microwave energy input, the more the organics are removed. Also, the total PAH level in the treated samples were reduced below regulatory acceptable limit (<100 ppm).
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