Inderscience Publishers

Peroxy-acid treatment of selected PAHs in sediments

In an attempt to address some of the disadvantages of the common biotic and abiotic processes used for the degradation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), an alternative strategy utilising a primary chemical oxidative step to be combined with a biological post-treatment step was created. The degradation of α-methylnaphthalene, fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, pyrene and benzo(a)pyrene using an Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) was investigated in a silty–clay sediment type over a 24-hr period. A 5:5:5 ratio of acetic acid/hydrogen peroxide/DI water, the compounds that form peroxy-acids, was used in this study. Gas Chromatography (GC) equipped with a Flame Ionisation Detector (FID) was used to determine the varied rates of degradation of the selected PAHs depending on the set volume ratio of the reagents and the characteristics of the sediment sample. All the six selected PAHs were successfully degraded with the peroxy-acid process. Pyrene and fluorene demonstrated lower degradation rates (0.02 and 0.05 hr-1) than α-methylnaphthalene, phenanthrene, anthracene and benzo(a)pyrene (0.16, 0.10, 0.22 and 0.13 hr-1, respectively). All other controls demonstrated minimal degradation over the time-course study.

Keywords: advanced oxidation process, AOP, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAH degradation, sediments, remediation, peroxy acids, waste treatment, environment, environmental pollution, environmental mangement

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