Optimization of PAHs Oxidation from a Concentrate of Soil Attrition Using Potassium Permanganate

<p>The treatment of soils contaminated with organic compounds, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), by attrition produced large amounts of highly concentrated attrition sludge (PAH – attrition concentrate – PAC). This paper studied the performance of an oxidation process using potassium permanganate (KMnO<sub>4</sub>) to degrade PAHs that were initially present in attrition concentrates. The influence of operating conditions (temperature, concentration of KMnO<sub>4</sub> and reaction time) was studied, and these parameters were optimized using a response surface methodology (RSM). The results showed that the temperature and the reaction time had a significant and positive effect on the degradation of PAHs for the experimental domain studied (temperature between 20 and 60°C and reaction time between 1 and 7 h). The interaction between the temperature and the concentration of KMnO<sub>4</sub> significantly influenced the degradation of the PAHs. The temperature and the concentration of KMnO<sub>4</sub> were the main parameters that influenced the degradation of both phenanthrene (Phe) and benzo [a] pyrene (BaP). For benzo [a] anthracene (BaA), the temperature was the most influential factor. According to our results, the optimal conditions were defined as [KMnO<sub>4</sub>] = 0.4 M for 5.5 h at 60°C. These optimal conditions led to degradations of 42.9%, 40.8%, 41.0% and 46.0% of the total PAHs, Phe, BaA and BaP, respectively.</p>