Remediation of soils contaminated with petrol and diesel using lime

C.D. Collins, D. Lothian and V. Schifano

Lime treatment of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils offers the potential to stabilize and solidify these materials, with a consequent reduction in the risks associated with the leachate emanating from them. This can aid the disposal of contaminated soils or enable their on-site treatment. In this study, the addition of hydrated lime and quicklime significantly reduced the leaching of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) from soils polluted with a 50:50 petrol/diesel mixture. Treatment with quicklime was slightly more effective, but hydrated lime may be better in the field because of its ease of handling. It is proposed that this occurs as a consequence of pozzolanic reactions retaining the hydrocarbons within the soil matrix. There was some evidence that this may be a temporary effect, as leaching increased between seven and 21 days after treatment, but the TPH concentrations in the leachate of treated soils were still one order of magnitude below those of the control soil, offering significant protection to groundwater. The reduction in leaching following treatment was observed in both aliphatic and aromatic fractions, but the latter were more affected because of their higher solubilty. The results are discussed in the context of risk assessment, and recommendations for future research are made.

Key words: carbon number fraction, hydrated lime, leachate, pozzolanic reaction, quicklime, risk assessment

Land Contamination & Reclamation, 17 (2), 237-244 (2009)

DOI 10.2462/09670513.940

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Article code 940