Matrix-immobilized organoclay for the sorption of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and pentachlorophenol from groundwater | Academic Article individual record

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.

author list (cited authors)
Wiles, M. C., Huebner, H. J., McDonald, T. J., Donnelly, K. C., & Phillips, T. D.
publication date
Elsevier BV Publisher
published in
  • Pentachlorophenol
  • Organoclay
  • Sorption
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Remediation
  • Groundwater
altmetric score


citation count