Journal of environmental quality

Remediation of Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Soil by Washing with Novel Chemically Modified Humic Substances.

PMID 26641328


In this work, humic (HA) and fulvic acid (FA) were chemically modified by esterification and etherification with alkanes under microwave (MW) irradiation to improve their surfactant properties for the remediation of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs)-contaminated soil. Humic acid and FA were evaluated as surfactant for the remediation of soil by means of washing an aged highly TPH-contaminated soil (50,000 mg TPH kg) sampled from a Mexican petrochemical area. The efficiency of chemical modification of HA and FA was increased and accelerated under MW irradiation with respect to that of conventional heating. Results showed that modified HA and FA were able to considerably reduce the contamination of TPH-polluted soils. The best results were obtained with HA modified by esterification with -dodecanol and FA modified with -decanol, which increased the hydrocarbon removal by 24 and 18%, respectively, with respect to amounts removed by the unmodified derivatives.