Sequestering agents for active caps - Remediation of metals and organics

Anna Sophia Knox, Michael H. Paller, Danny D. Reible, Xingmao Ma, Ioana G. Petrisor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This research evaluated organoclays, zeolites, phosphates, and a biopolymer as sequestering agents for inorganic and organic contaminants. Batch experiments were conducted to identify amendments and mixtures of amendments for metal and organic contaminant removal and retention. Contaminant removal was evaluated by calculating partitioning coefficients. Metal retention was evaluated by desorption studies in which residue from the removal studies was extracted with 1 M MgCl2 solution. The results indicated that phosphate amendments, some organoclays, and the biopolymer, chitosan, were very effective sequestering agents for metals in fresh and salt water. Organoclays were very effective sorbents for phenanthrene, pyrene, and benzo(a)pyrene. Partitioning coefficients for the organoclays were 3000-3500 L g-1 for benzo(a)pyrene, 400-450 L g-1 for pyrene, and 50-70 L g-1 for phenanthrene. Remediation of sites with a mixture of contaminants is more difficult than sites with a single contaminant because metals and organic contaminants have different fate and transport mechanisms in sediment and water. Mixtures of amendments (e.g., organoclay and rock phosphate) have high potential for remediating both organic and inorganic contaminants under a broad range of environmental conditions, and have promise as components in active caps for sediment remediation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-532
Number of pages17
JournalSoil and Sediment Contamination
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Active caps
  • Biopolymer
  • Contaminants
  • Organoclay
  • Rock phosphate
  • Sediments
  • Zeolite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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