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A critical evaluation of magnetic activated carbon’s potential for the remediation of sediment impacted by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Zhantao Han, Badruddeen Sani, Jarkko Akkanen, Sebastian Abel, Inna Nybom, Hrissi K. Karapanagioti, David Werner
Journal of hazardous materials 2015 v.286 pp. 41-47
Lumbriculus variegatus, activated carbon, adsorbents, adverse effects, bioavailability, biochar, pollutants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, remediation, reproduction, sediments
Addition of activated carbon (AC) or biochar (BC) to sediment to reduce the chemical and biological availability of organic contaminants is a promising in-situ remediation technology. But concerns about leaving the adsorbed pollutants in place motivate research into sorbent recovery methods. This study explores the use of magnetic sorbents. A coal-based magnetic activated carbon (MAC) was identified as the strongest of four AC and BC derived magnetic sorbents for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) remediation. An 8.1% MAC amendment (w/w, equal to 5% AC content) was found to be as effective as 5% (w/w) pristine AC in reducing aqueous PAHs within three months by 98%. MAC recovery from sediment after three months was 77%, and incomplete MAC recovery had both, positive and negative effects. A slight rebound of aqueous PAH concentrations was observed following the MAC recovery, but aqueous PAH concentrations then dropped again after six months, likely due to the presence of the 23% unrecovered MAC. On the other hand, the 77% recovery of the 8.1% MAC dose was insufficient to reduce ecotoxic effects of fine grained AC or MAC amendment on the egestion rate, growth and reproduction of the AC sensitive species Lumbriculus variegatus.