Effective removal of Aroclor 1254 and hexachlorobenzene in river sediments by coupling in situ phase-inversion emulsification with biological reductive dechlorination.


Department of Environmental Engineering, National Chung Hsing University, No. 145, Xingda Road, Taichung 40227, Taiwan. Electronic address: [Email]


River sediment contamination is a critical environmental problem. Concentrations of certain hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs) in sediments in Taiwan are ranked at the top in the world. In this study, we proposed a novel in situ phase-inversion emulsification and biological reductive dechlorination (ISPIE/BiRD) method that integrates (1) heating contaminated sediments by hot water-in-oil emulsion to increase the contact between hydrophobic organic contaminants (HOCs), to accelerate the mass transfer between two phases, and to select heat-tolerant hydrogen-producing bacteria, (2) ISPIE forming oil-in-water emulsion to enhance recovery of HOCs by pushing cool water and nutrient buffer through the sediment column, and (3) subsequent BiRD using residual emulsion in sediment. Aroclor 1254 and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) were selected due to significantly higher human health and ecological risks in sediments. Batch biological dechlorination tests were conducted using an L9(34) orthogonal table according to the Taguchi method. The results showed that significant controlling factors for biological dechlorination were temperature and emulsion concentration. A single operation of ISPIE can achieve the removal of Aroclor 1254 and HCB at as high as 58.2% and 56.5%, respectively. Column study on BiRD further removed about 30% of the residual Aroclor 1254 and HCB at the upper and middle sections of the sediment cores in 35 days. These results supported that ISPIE/BiRD is feasible for HOC-contaminated sediments remediation.


Biological dechlorination,Hexachlorobenzene,Persistent organic pollutants,Phase inversion emulsification,Polychlorinated biphenyl,Sediment remediation,

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