A Study on multiple Contaminant-Soil interaction and its effect on Contaminant fate Prediction

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With tremendous urbanization and industrialization enormous amount of waste has been generated, which has significantly affected the quality of geoenvironment and the water resources. Several researchers and practitioners have stressed the importance to circumvent this environmental issue, and to find an appropriate solution to contain these wastes safely. Engineered landfill is an efficient method for meeting this challenge and soils used in these facilities and those below it (natural soil) plays a very vital role. One of the significant chemical properties of a landfill liner material is the contaminant retention capacity which determines the fate of contaminants or pollutants in the geoenvironment. It is necessary to establish the retention property of soils to evaluate its usefulness in waste containment facilities and its potential in minimizing contaminant migration into groundwater. There are several studies that evaluate contaminant retention of soils for single contaminant interaction. In, reality the presence of single contaminants seldom exists. Every contaminant is influenced by multiple ions present in the geoenvironmemt. Therefore, there is a need to evaluate multiple contaminant-soil interaction. There is also a need to further evaluate the retention capacity of locally available soils found abundantly and check its potential use as a cost-effective liner material in waste containment facilities. The present research work attempted to understand systematically, the multiple contaminant retention behavior of soils. The adequacy of existing mathematical isotherms for quantifying soil-multiple contaminants interaction was evaluated. Effort was made to quantify the influence of multiple contaminants on retention property of different soil type based on existing mathematical isotherm models. Many experimental interaction results were compared in the present study to appraise this objective. Some of the anomalies while using isotherm results for comparing different soil-contaminant retention cases have been brought forth. The contaminant retention results were used to understand the sensitivity of retention parameters on contaminant fate prediction. The influence of different ranges of contaminant concentration on fate prediction was studied. An attempt was made to understand whether there is a possibility of developing a correlation between soil specific parameters such as cation exchange capacity, specific surface area, soil pH with retention parameters. Keywords: contaminant, retention, single, multiple, isotherm, fate prediction, locally available soils, soil properties, ion chromotograph.
Supervisor: S. Sreedeep