Investigations of the use of natural organic matter as a remediation material
thesisposted on 15.06.2011, 08:55 by Anumaija Leskinen
Industrial activities and accidental releases often introduce a large amount of inorganic and organic contaminants to the environment. Humic substances interact strongly with metals and organic pollutants. In this study, this property was exploited in order to establish new remediation materials in two environmental applications and in one pharmaceutical application. The two remediation materials under investigation were sludge and sediment, ST sludge and CE sludge, respectively. The first application aimed at investigating the use of the remediation materials to remove arsenic, iron, and uranium from the industrial effluents. The main results were the release of iron from ST sludge inhibited its usage as remediation material whereas CE sludge showed excellent performance. The extractions were both rapid and efficient. The second application studied the extraction of organic contaminants. The objective of this study was to find a new remediation material for removal of organic contaminants. The remediation materials showed similar and excellent performance on extraction of chlorinated anilines, phenols and benzenes. The third application investigated the extraction of iodine species from urine. It aimed at determining whether the radioactive iodine can be extracted from the urine and thereby concentrated into a smaller volume of solid. Even though the extraction percentages from urine were not as promising as from deionised water and synthetic urine, scientific interest was raised and further investigations on the effect of the composition of urine and solubility of sludges for the extraction of iodine species were recommended. The outcome of the presented study was interesting both scientifically and economically. The promising extraction results for arsenic, iron and uranium indicate that the CE sludge is ready to be tested in a field study. The extraction of organic compounds by both remediation materials was also promising. However, further studies on permeability and solubility were recommended.