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Environ Technol. 2018 Apr 25:1-14. doi: 10.1080/09593330.2018.1466917. [Epub ahead of print]

Assessment and comparison of PHCs removal from three types of soils (sand, silt loam and clay) using supercritical fluid extraction.

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a Department of Civil Engineering , University of Ottawa , Ottawa , ON , Canada.


Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) was applied to investigate the removal of petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) from contaminated soils. Per an initial set of tests for different extraction modes and time durations, the combination of 10 min static mode followed by 10 min dynamic mode, repeated for 3 cycles for a total time of 60 min resulted in the highest PHCs removal percentages. SFE experiments were performed at 33 MPa pressure and 75°C temperature to investigate the influence of soil texture and grain size. Three types of soils were formed and then were spiked with diesel fuel with a ratio of 5 wt%. Soil A, B and C had different particle sizes and were categorized as sand, silt loam and clay, respectively. Soil A (sand) which had the largest particle size resulted in the highest total petroleum hydrocarbon fractions (TPHF), sum of PHC F2, F3 and F4 fractions, removal percentage (90.4%) while soil C (clay) with the smallest particle size and the highest clay content led to the lowest TPHF removal percentage (47.4%). PHC F2 removal percentage for soil A (sand) was 27.3% greater than soil B (silt loam), and the removal efficiency for soil B was 20.4% higher than soil C (clay). While a similar trend was observed for the extraction of PHC F3, the extraction efficiency of PHC F4 for soil A, B and C were not statistically significant. Regarding soil A (sand), the extraction efficiency for PHC F2, PHC F3 and PHC F4 were 98.4%, 92.7%, and 50.2%, respectively. For soil C (clay), the removal efficiency of all PHC fractions were not statistically different.


Petroleum hydrocarbon; contaminated soil; soil grain size; statistical analysis; supercritical fluid extraction

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