Remediation of oil-contaminated sand with self-collapsing air microbubbles

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Abstract

In this study, a novel chemical-free approach for cleaning oil-contaminated sand with self-collapsing air microbubbles (MBs) with diameter less than 50 μm was developed without the use of chemicals, such as surfactants and alkalis. Diesel and rotary-vane pump oil-contaminated fine and medium sands were treated with MBs to study the effect of oil viscosity and sand grain size on oil removal with MBs. About 95 % of diesel removal was achieved for 24 h old 10 % (w/w) diesel-contaminated medium sand in contrast to only 70 % removal from fine sand after 40-min treatment with MBs. While rotary-vane pump oil removal exceeds that of diesel after 40-min treatment with MBs, combination of mechanical stirring with MBs significantly enhanced the oil removal rate, whereby 95 % diesel removal was achieved from fine sand in 30 min in contrast to only 52 % diesel removal with MBs alone. A possible MBs cleaning mechanism for oil-contaminated sand was also proposed. This study provides experimental evidence for the applicability of self-collapsing MBs as a novel chemical-free approach for cleaning oil-contaminated sand.

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Agarwal, A., Zhou, Y., & Liu, Y. (2016). Remediation of oil-contaminated sand with self-collapsing air microbubbles. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23(23), 23876–23883. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-7601-5

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