JOURNAL ARTICLE

Process envelopes for stabilisation/solidification of contaminated soil using lime-slag blend

Reginald B Kogbara, Yaolin Yi, Abir Al-Tabbaa
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2011, 18 (8): 1286-96
21409547

PURPOSE: Stabilisation/solidification (S/S) has emerged as an efficient and cost-effective technology for the treatment of contaminated soils. However, the performance of S/S-treated soils is governed by several intercorrelated variables, which complicates the optimisation of the treatment process design. Therefore, it is desirable to develop process envelopes, which define the range of operating variables that result in acceptable performance.

METHODS: In this work, process envelopes were developed for S/S treatment of contaminated soil with a blend of hydrated lime (hlime) and ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) as the binder (hlime/GGBS = 1:4). A sand contaminated with a mixture of heavy metals and petroleum hydrocarbons was treated with 5%, 10% and 20% binder dosages, at different water contents. The effectiveness of the treatment was assessed using unconfined compressive strength (UCS), permeability, acid neutralisation capacity and contaminant leachability with pH, at set periods.

RESULTS: The UCS values obtained after 28 days of treatment were up to ∼800 kPa, which is quite low, and permeability was ∼10(-8) m/s, which is higher than might be required. However, these values might be acceptable in some scenarios. The binder significantly reduced the leachability of cadmium and nickel. With the 20% dosage, both metals met the waste acceptance criteria for inert waste landfill and relevant environmental quality standards.

CONCLUSIONS: The results show that greater than 20% dosage would be required to achieve a balance of acceptable mechanical and leaching properties. Overall, the process envelopes for different performance criteria depend on the end-use of the treated material.

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