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A chemical remediation technique for a nearly-total removal of arsenic and mercury from contaminated marine sediments

TitoloA chemical remediation technique for a nearly-total removal of arsenic and mercury from contaminated marine sediments
Tipo di pubblicazioneArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Anno di Pubblicazione2023
AutoriD'Agostino, Fabio, Bellante Antonio, Bonsignore Maria, Del Core Marianna, Clarizia Laura, Sabatino Nadia, Giaramita Luigi, Tranchida Giorgio, Chiavarini Salvatore, and Sprovieri Mario
Type of ArticleArticle

After decades of industrial exploitation of the coast and consequent contamination of the sites and marine sediments, it became essential to recover the marine ecosystem by remediation methods to remove toxic contaminants. In this work, a remediation method was developed to clean marine sediments contaminated by arsenic (As) and mercury (Hg). The method can be applied to mobile platforms and is based on an environmentally friendly approach designed to minimise further contamination. The method was tested on two artificially contaminated sediments and two real samples collected from two highly contaminated sites in southern Italy, Augusta Bay and Bagnoli Gulf, characterised by high Hg and As concentrations, respectively. The method consists of four steps: washing with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) to remove metals associated with humic acid; Fenton-reaction using α-CycloDextrin (aCD) to stabilise Fe(II) at natural pH and oxidise As (III) and Hg (0 or I); complexation reaction with aCD; and complexation with sodium sulfide (Na2S) to remove Hg as soluble Hg-polysulfides. Compared to other remediation experiences in literature, this technique provides the best removal efficiency for As and Hg (ranging between 26 -71 % and 57–95 %, respectively). Considering the residual concentrations of As and Hg and the contamination threshold fixed by European Regulation for re-use, the treated sediment can be used in several civil and industrial contexts. The presented method operates in line with the principles of the circular economy to preserve natural resources, prevent secondary pollution, and promote the effective re-use of clean environmental matrices (soils, sediments and aqueous solutions), thus minimising landfill waste. © 2023 The Authors


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Citation KeyD'Agostino2023