Release of inorganic and organic contaminants from fly ash amended permeable reactive barriers

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2008-01-25

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Large quantities of fly ash are generated in the United States via coal combustion, most of which is disposed of in lagoons or landfills. The overall goal of this research was to assess the feasibility of using high carbon content (HCC) fly ashes as a reactive medium in permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) for remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated groundwater. A series of column and batch tests were performed to evaluate the leaching of selected metals from the fly ash, and adsorption/desorption of two target hydrocarbons (naphthalene and o-xylene) onto/from this PRB medium. Leaching of metals in the column experiments exhibited a first-flush, followed by a tailing slope elution pattern for all fly ashes. The naphthalene and o-xylene adsorption/desorption on/from the fly ashes were directly correlated with the organic carbon of the fly ash as measured by loss in ignition. Adsorption/desorption hysteresis was obvious in column and batch tests, suggesting that the adsorption/desorption was not completely reversible during the testing.

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