Matrix-immobilized organoclay for the sorption of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and pentachlorophenol from groundwater.
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Sorbent materials consisting of organoclay immobilized onto the surface of a solid support were evaluated for use in pentachlorophenol (PCP) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) remediation of groundwater at a creosote-contaminated Superfund site. Cetylpyridinium-exchanged low pH montmorillonite clay (CP-LPHM) was bonded to either sand (CP-LPHM/sand) or granular activated carbon (GAC) (CP-LPHM/GAC) using the free acid form of carboxymethylcellulose as an adhesive. Effluent from an oil-water separator was eluted through equal bed volumes of composite (4 g 3:2 CP-LPHM/GAC or 13 g CP-LPHM/sand), affinity-extracted, and quantitatively analyzed by GC/MS. PCP, naphthalene, fluorene, phenanthrene, pyrene, and total PAHs were initially reduced by both CP-LPHM/GAC (> or =99%, 61%, 99%, > or =99%, 97%, and 94%, respectively) and CP-LPHM/sand (90%, 70%, 94%, 95%, 93%, and 86%, respectively). Complete breakthrough of naphthalene occurred after approximately 15 h of elution through 3:2 CP-LPHM/GAC and 22 h through CP-LPHM/sand. PCP showed complete breakthrough following 18 h of elution through 3:2 CP-LPHM/GAC and 26 h through CP-LPHM/sand. However, 50% breakthrough was not attained for higher molecular weight PAHs, as fluoranthene, pyrene, benzo[a]anthracene, and chrysene continued to be greatly reduced with both 3:2 CP-LPHM/GAC (98%, 95%, 94%, and 95%, respectively) and CP-LPHM/sand (75%, 73%, 76%, and 78%, respectively) after 48 h of continuous elution. Results confirm prior studies, indicating that these organoclay-containing composites have a high capacity for contaminants found in wood preserving waste. Further, results suggest that the inclusion of CP-LPHM may be useful as part of an effective strategy for groundwater remediation of high concentrations of PCP and PAHs, in particular high molecular weight and carcinogenic PAHs.