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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 21 No. 1, p. 94-102
    Received: Dec 20, 1990

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Remediation of Gasoline-Contaminated Soil by Passive Volatilization

  1. Susan G. Donaldson,
  2. Glenn C. Miller  and
  3. W. W. Miller
  1. Dep. of Biochemistry, Univ. of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557-0014
    Dep. of Range, Wildlife, and Forestry, Univ. of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557



Loss of 10 hydrocarbons characteristic of those found in gasoline (benzene; n-heptane; toluene; m-xylene; n-nonane; n-propylbenzene; 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene; n-butylbenzene; 1,2,4,5-tetramethylbenzene; and n-dodecane) from 20-cm soil layers was investigated in several field experiments. Soil was spiked with 50 mg kg−1 of each compound, placed in pans outdoors, and subjected to one of five treatments: dry, unmixed soil; dry soil mixed weekly; soil watered once only; soil watered periodically; and soil watered and mixed periodically. Significantly greater rates of loss occurred from wet soils, with an average of 5.7% remaining in wet and mixed treatments at the 18- to 20-cm depth on Day 32 of the spring experiment, compared with 61% remaining in dry, unmixed soils. Following wetting of the soil by rain, less than 8% overall remained in any soil layer by Day 64. Loss was greatest during the summer experiment. By Day 32, only tetramethylbenzene and dodecane were measurable for the wet treatments, with totals below 5% at the 18- to 20-cm depth. An average of 48.6% remained in the dry soils. The final experiment during fall 1989 demonstrated loss of 500 mg kg−1 of unleaded gasoline from spiked soil. No measurable amounts remained after 8 d in wet and mixed treatments and 16 d in wet, unmixed treatments, but 3.5% remained after 32 d in initially dry soil. These findings indicate that removal of gasoline from contaminated soils can be significantly accelerated by the addition of water.

A contribution of the Dep. of Biochemistry; Hydrology/Hydrogeology; and Range, Wildlife, and Forestry, Max C. Fleischmann College of Agriculture, Univ. of Nevada, Reno. Funded by a grant from the Nevada Division of Environ. Protection, 201 S. Fall St., Carson City, NV 89710.

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