Industrial activities and accidental releases often introduce a large amount of
inorganic and organic contaminants to the environment. Humic substances
interact strongly with metals and organic pollutants. In this study, this property
was exploited in order to establish new remediation materials in two
environmental applications and in one pharmaceutical application. The two
remediation materials under investigation were sludge and sediment, ST sludge
and CE sludge, respectively.
The first application aimed at investigating the use of the remediation materials
to remove arsenic, iron, and uranium from the industrial effluents. The main
results were the release of iron from ST sludge inhibited its usage as
remediation material whereas CE sludge showed excellent performance. The
extractions were both rapid and efficient. The second application studied the
extraction of organic contaminants. The objective of this study was to find a
new remediation material for removal of organic contaminants. The remediation
materials showed similar and excellent performance on extraction of
chlorinated anilines, phenols and benzenes. The third application investigated
the extraction of iodine species from urine. It aimed at determining whether the
radioactive iodine can be extracted from the urine and thereby concentrated
into a smaller volume of solid. Even though the extraction percentages from
urine were not as promising as from deionised water and synthetic urine,
scientific interest was raised and further investigations on the effect of the
composition of urine and solubility of sludges for the extraction of iodine
species were recommended.
The outcome of the presented study was interesting both scientifically and
economically. The promising extraction results for arsenic, iron and uranium
indicate that the CE sludge is ready to be tested in a field study. The extraction
of organic compounds by both remediation materials was also promising.
However, further studies on permeability and solubility were recommended.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.