Oxidation of anthracene using waste Mn oxide minerals : the importance of wetting and drying sequences
Article in Press
PAHs are a common problem in contaminated urban soils due to their recalcitrance. This study presents results on the oxidation of anthracene on synthetic and natural Mn oxide surfaces. Evaporation of anthracene spiked Mn oxide slurries in air results in the oxidation of 30% of the anthracene to anthraquinone. Control minerals, quartz and calcite, also oxidised a small but significant proportion of the anthracene (4.5% and 14% conversion, respectively) when spiked mineral slurries were evaporated in air. However, only Mn oxide minerals showed significant anthracene oxidation (5-10%) when evaporation took place in the absence of oxygen (N 2 atmosphere). In the fully hydrated systems where no drying took place, natural Mn oxides showed an increase in anthracene oxidation with decreasing pH, with a conversion of 75% anthracene at pH 4. These results show both acidification and drying favor the oxidation of anthracene on Mn oxide mineral surfaces. It has also been demonstrated that non-redox active mineral surfaces, such as calcite, may play a role in contaminant breakdown during wetting and drying sequences. Given that climate changes suggest that wetting and drying sequences are likely to become more significant these results have important implications for contaminated land remediation technologies. © 2012.