Sorption of organic compounds on oil shale materials and sorption of selected chemicals on a Western soil

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The sorption capacity of a raw shale (Anvil Points), three spent shales, (Antrim, Oxy 6, and Run 16), and a western soil for three organic compounds (2-Hydroxynaphthalene, 1,2,3,4-Tetrahydroquinoline, and 2,3,5-Trimethylphenol) was evaluated by batch and column sorption studies. In addition, the sorption capacity of the western soil for selected inorganic agents (arsenic, cadmium, calcium, potassium, iron, ammonium, fluoride, and sulfate) was also determined.

The results of the study showed that the sorption capacity of oil shales for organic compounds varied with the retorting conditions of spent shales, the characteristics of sorbates, and the number of different sorbates present. The overall sorption capacity of the oil shales and the soil were greatly enhanced in multi-sorbate solutions. On the other hand, mutual inhibition for sorption of individual compounds was evident throughout the study.

The western soil, in general, exhibited a better sorption capacity for organic compounds than Anvil, Oxy 6, and Run 16 shale, yet Antrim shale appeared to be the best sorbent. Sorption of inorganic ions by soil was closely related to the pH of the solution, and was greatly affected by the interactions between ion species in multi-sorbate solutions. The soil had good affinity for arsenic, cadmium and iron, but little sorption capacity for ammonium and sulfate. Desorption of calcium and potassium from the soil was evident.