Fly ash-based waste for ex-situ landfill stabilization of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS)-contaminated soilSörengård, Mattias; Travar, I.; Berggren Kleja, Dan; Ahrens, Lutz
In response to world-wide soil and groundwater contamination per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), stakeholders require immediate mitigation. Soil deposition in landfill is a common mitigation scheme, but PFAS losses occur via landfill leachate. These leaching losses can be reduced by strategically utilizing other deposited waste materials for ex-situ contaminant stabilization. This screening study tested activated carbon (AC) and eight types of wastes (compost, rubber granulate, bentonite clay, industrial sludge, incineration slag, incineration bottom ash (n=4), incineration fly ash-based air pollution control residue (FA-APC) (n=16)) in amending (adding 4%, 5%, 10% or 25% sorbent) field-contaminated (n=19) and PFAS-fortified (n=11) soils. A subset of FA-based residue types, all originating from grate-fire incineration (G-F-I) plants, achieved extraordinarily high removal of PFAS. The removal was up to 98% (25% addition) of the sum of six dominant PFAS for field-contaminated soil and >99% of the sum of 11 PFAS for fortified soil (10/25% addition) (>99.9% for PFOS). Calculated partitioning coefficient revealed significant trends between sorption strength and perfluorocarbon chain length (0.21-0.47 log units per CF2-moiety), indicating high importance of hydrophobic sorption (R2>0.98). However, with incremental G-F-I FA-APC addition this relationship disappeared, indicating an alternative sorption mechanism. The exceptional PFAS sorption by G-F-I FA-APC was not explained by G-F-I surface area, surface charge, soil mineral- and metal composition, or solution DOC, metal, or ion composition (H+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Al3+ and Ba2+). Although the mechanism remains unknown, this study showed that landfill sites can utilize G-F-I FA-APC for ex-situ stabilization at negative cost, thus preventing PFAS-containing leachate.
KeywordsPFAS; Soil remediation; Stabilization; Landfill; Fly ash; Activated carbon
Published inChemical Engineering Journal Advances
2022, volume: 12
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