Evaluation of the use of solar irradiation for the decontamination of soil residues

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Journal of Air and Waste Management Association



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Laboratory evaluation of the efficacy of soil phase photodegradation of recalcitrant hazardous organic components of wood treating wastes is described. The photodecomposition of anthracene, biphenyl, 9H-carbazole, m-cresol, dibenzofuran, fluorene, pentachlorophenol, phenanthrene, pyrene and quinoline under UV and visible light was monitored over a 50-day reaction period in three test soils. Methylene blue, riboflavin, hydrogen peroxide, peat moss and diethylamine soil amendments were evaluated as to their effect on the enhancement of compound photoreaction rates in the test soil systems. Dark control samples monitored over the entire study period were utilized to quantify non-photo mediated reaction losses. Compounds losses in both the dark control and irradiated samples were found to follow first order kinetics, allowing the calculation of first order photodegradation reaction rate constants for each test soil/compound combination. Degradation due to photochemical activity was observed for all test compounds, with compound photolytic half-lives ranging from 7 to approximately 180 days. None of the soil amendments were found to improve soil phase photodegradation, although photosensitization by anthracene was shown to significantly enhance the rate of photodegradation of the other test compounds. Soil type, and its characteristic of internal reflectance, proved to be the most significant factor affecting compound degradation rates suggesting the necessity for site specific assessments of soil phase photodegradation potential.

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