Sorption of organic contaminants on carbonaceous particles in soils is the most important abiotic process that governs the mobility of contaminants in the subsurface. These processes are quite well understood. However, there is a controversial discussion whether sorption processes are fully reversible or whether hysteresis is occurring during desorption, resulting in an irreversibly sorbed contaminant fraction. This fraction would remain in the sediments and could not be removed via the aqueous phase using hydraulic remediation measures. This question was examined in multi-stage batch sorption and desorption experiments with benzene, 1,2 dichlorobenzene (1,2 DCB), toluene and m-xylene, with sorbents activated carbon, zeolite and charcoal. It was shown that the structural composition of the sorbent is one of the important features for a pollutant adsorption-resistant fraction. Hence, the rigid pore system of microporous zeolite exhibits the most reversible sorption. Charcoal and activated carbon showed a significantly irreversible sorption. Competitive sorption may cause the release of this fraction.
Environmental Processes – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 22, 2017
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