Microwave (MW) remediation of hydrocarbon contaminated soil using spent graphite - An approach for waste as a resource.


Environmental and Water Resource Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, Tamil Nadu, India. Electronic address: [Email]


In this study, we have explored the possibility of using an industrial waste for remediation of heavy fuel oil contaminated soil. Microwave (MW) heating in the presence of spent graphite (SG) from an auto forging industry has been used for the remediation. The physico-chemical characterization of SG and contaminated soil were done. Microwave remediation experiments were conducted in a lab scale unit and the effect of different parameters like microwave power, susceptor loading and treatment time were studied and optimized. The contaminated and decontaminated soils were analysed using GC-MS for total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), Total Organic Carbon and CHNS analyzers. Batch experiments of soil remediation showed that the TPH removal efficiencies (%) of 41.25, 87.77 and 91.18 at 300, 450 and 600 W respectively at SG concentration of 2.5 (wt. %) for a reaction time of 60 min. The addition of SG as susceptor enhanced the desorption of long chain hydrocarbons (C12-C29) present in the soil. Desorption of hydrocarbons from the soil fits well with first order kinetic model. This study successfully demonstrated the reuse of spent graphite (a lubricant waste) recovered from metal forging operations for remediating the fuel oil contaminated soil.


Contaminated soil,Fuel oil,Kinetics,Microwave heating,Spent graphite,