Optimization of Surfactant-Aided Remediation of Industrially Contaminated Soils


Soil matrices contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) abound at the sites of coke-oven gas plants, refineries, and many other major chemical industries. The removal of PAHs from soil using pure water, via soil washing for (ex situ) or soil flushing (in situ), is quite ineffective due to their low solubility and hydrophobicity. However, addition of suitable surfactant(s) has been shown to increase the removal efficiency several fold. For the present work, the removal of PAHs occurring in industrially contaminated soil was studied. The objective was to use a nonionic surfactant solution for in situ soil flushing and to evaluate the optimal range of process parameters that can significantly increase the removal efficiency. The process parameters chosen were surfactant concentration, ratio of washing solution volume to soil weight, and temperature of washing solution. These parameters were found to have a significant effect on PAH removal from the contaminated soil and an optimal range was determined for each parameter under given washing conditions.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons; Surfactant; High-performance Liquid Chromatography; Extraction Chromatography

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 1996 Taylor & Francis, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 1996