amendments such as minerals (apatite, zeolite, or clay minerals) isa promising alternative to current remediation methods. In polluted soils, metals (arsenic) which is held on inorganic soil particles and complexed with organic components can bedissolved or extracted by passing a solution through it. Solublecontaminants are subject to migration with soil water, uptake by plants or aquatic organisms. Metals in soil may be associated withvarious phases that are reactive, semi-reactive or non-reactive.Arsenic compounds have been used for many years in the paintindustry, dyes and pigments, insecticides/herbicides, wood preservatives. Such compounds and their residues are knowntoxins and, for this reason, arsenic is one of several commonlyoccurring elements designated as a priority pollutant. Arsenictrioxide (As
) has been applied as a herbicide at a number of utility sites, resulting in contaminated soils and groundwater’sfrom applications of this weed killer. Arsenic trioxide is asuspected carcinogen and is highly toxic by ingestion or dustinhalation. The Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) allowablein drinking water supplies in 0.050 mg/L. In a recent study,arsenic was described as being "at the forefront" of liver, lung,kidney and bladder cancer risks. The arsenic drinking water standard is anticipated to be set at a near-zero level. Generally,arsenic concentrations range up to 3500 ppm in the soil, withone value of 8300 ppm(in central India) observed. Thereforethere is a dire need for the removal of arsenic from the soil. For these reasons, the removal of arsenic contaminants has been anongoing concern. Common methods of treatment typicallyinvolve excavating the contaminated soil/material and treating itwith a solidifying agent such as cement. However, suchtreatment is costly and results in a large net-volume increase of disposable material. In any event, there is evidence to suggestthat such treatments are not entirely effective in preventingleaching. Other methods include washing the effected soil or waste with a solution, then collecting the leachate for removaland disposal. However, such methods typically result in acollection of concentrated heavy metals which may themselves be hazardous. The other existing methods of arsenic removalinvolving coagulation/precipitation with lime, alum or ferricsulfate are costly, produce a wet bulky sludge and often requirefinal filters for polishing. Other technologies which have beeninvestigated include ion exchange, foam flotation and adsorption(onto activated carbon and activated alumina). Thesetechnologies, while advantageous in some respects, aredisadvantaged by requiring, inter alia, soil excavation.This invention is an improved method for removal of arsenic-contaminants in soil. It overcomes certain well-known problemsand deficiencies, including those outlined above, while providing an effective, cost-efficient solution to a wide-spreadenvironmental concern. In part, the present invention is a methodfor remediating an arsenic-contaminated soil medium withoutexcavating the soil, including (1) contacting the soil mediumwith an aqueous extractant solution wherein the extractant iscitric acid, Oxalic acid , sodium Hydroxide and SodiumCarbonate (2) directing the extractant solution through the soiland into a groundwater source below the soil, (3) transferring thegroundwater to the soil surface whereby the groundwater contains arsenic compounds and the extractant solution, (4)consolidating the arsenic compounds contained within thetransferred groundwater, and (5) stabilizing the consolidatedarsenic compounds to minimize leaching during storage
Clayey soil was collected from the agricultural land in St PetersEngineering College, Chennai. Arsenic Trioxide, As
LR Grade (Merck’s) was added to the soil in different proportionsand left for a week. The extractant solution comprising of Citricacid, Oxalic acid, Sodium Hydroxide and Sodium Carbonate(equal moles) was added to the soil and the amount of arsenicremoved was analyzed. Batch studies were performed withdifferent concentrations and pH of the extractant solution todetermine the optimum conditions that effect maximum arsenicremoval.
100 grams of the arsenic contaminated soil (10,000 ppm of arsenic) was treated with 100 ml of the extractant solution prepared at different concentrations ranging from .01M to .10Mare placed in a shaker at 150 rpm for 1 hour. The arsenicremoval was then analyzed in all the soil samples.
Figure 1 Effect of Concentration of the extractant solutionon the arsenic removal efficiency.
From the figure 1, it is seen that the efficiency of arsenicremoval is maximum at a concentration of .05M and theefficiency remains relatively constant for the other increasingsolutions concentrations. Since a solution of .05M is optimalwhen compared with the higher concentrated solutions (namely .06M, .07M, .08M, .09M and .10M) and it gives the same percentage removal, the above said concentration is the optimumconcentration for arsenic removal from the contaminated soil.
100 grams of the same soil (containing 10,000 ppm of arsenic)was treated with 100 ml of .05M extractant solution prepared atdifferent pH namely 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 and thearsenic removal efficiency was analyzed.