Applied Environmental Research

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Surfactant enhanced remediation is viewed as a potential method for removing organometallic compounds from contaminated aquifers. Dibutyltin dichloride (DBT), as a representative organometallic compound, was applied in sand packed columns to observe its solubilization behavior compared to that of perchloroetylene (PCE), a normal organic solvent. Ottawa sand was used as the porous media. A mixture of DBT and PCE was applied as the contaminant. The tracer study exhibited the plug flow condition with a retention time of 79.9 min. The surfactant solution was a mixture of 3.6 wt% SDHS and 0.4 wt% C16DPDS with various concentrations of CaCl2.The column experiments were carried out by single and gradient surfactant systems. The effluent exhibited a general solubilization pattern for PCE, governed by a rate limiting mechanism. However, the concentration of DBT in the effluent observed in every experiment was just a slice of its solubilization capacity.The adsorption of DBT on the sand was suspected to be the cause of the problem. The solubilization of DBT by a surfactant was ineffective at removing DBT from the contaminated media. It may be concluded that DBT exhibits the properties of both an organic and inorganic compound; it could be solubilized by a surfactant and absorbed strongly on sand. Nevertheless, the results indicate that trapped DBT could be removed by mobilization in the form of a PCE-DBT mixture and that adsorption could be prevented by a very low pH condition.

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