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Wilton, N., B.A. Lyon-Marion, R. Kamath, K. McVey, K.D. Pennell, and A. Robbat Jr.
Journal of Hazardous Materials 349:153-159(2018)

A two-phase recovery system for the remediation of heavy hydrocarbon impacted soils relies on (1) a plant-based biopolymer that releases hydrocarbons from soil and (2) polystyrene foam beads that recover them from solids and water. The efficiency of the process was demonstrated by comparisons with control experiments, where water, biopolymer, or beads alone yielded TPH reductions of 25%, 52%, and 58%, respectively, compared to 94% when 1.25?mL of 1% biopolymer and 15?mg beads per gram of soil were agitated for 30?min. Reductions in TPH content were substantial regardless of soil fraction, with removals of 97%, 91%, and 75% from sand, silt, and clay size fractions, respectively. Treatment efficiency was independent of carbon number (C13 to C43) as demonstrated by reductions in both diesel fuel (C13-C28) and residual-range organics (C25-C43) of ~90%. The remediation process is both efficient and sustainable because the reusable biopolymer is sourced from renewable crops, and the polystyrene beads are obtained from recycled materials. Additional background on this technology is available in N. Wilton's dissertation at https://dl.tufts.edu/catalog/tufts:22468.

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