Sorption characteristics of a non-ionic surfactant in soil contaminated with decane
S. Jodeh

Hydrophobic and non-polar organic carbon compounds have low aqueous solubilities, and the biodegradation of such compounds may be restricted because of their low solubility coupled with strong binding/sorption on to solids.

The main goal of this research is to study the factors affecting the sorption of surfactants on to soil, such as the surfactant concentration and the soil organic content, and the removal of organic contaminants like decane from the soil using a non-ionic surfactant, Triton X-100.

The results indicated that when the concentration of surfactant was lower than the critical micelle concentration (CMC), the amount of surfactant sorbed on to soil increased with increasing surfactant concentration, and the surfactant sorption characteristics of the uncontaminated soils could be modelled using the Freundlich isotherm. For the contaminated soils, the amount of surfactant sorbed was higher than that for the uncontaminated soils. The amount of surfactant sorbed on to soils also depends on the organic content of the soils. When the concentration of surfactant is higher than the CMC, the amount of surfactant added to the soil–aqueous system will increase the number of micelles and also increase the solubilization of organic contaminants from the soils. Measurements of surface tension were used for our analysis, in order to collect the data and draw conclusions.

Key words: contamination, degradation, sorption, surface tension, surfactant

Land Contamination & Reclamation, 16 (1), 35-44

DOI 10.2462/09670513.870

© 2008 EPP Publications Ltd

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Article code 870