The remediation of dioxin-contaminated soil of a specific coastal area previously employed for the manufacture of pentachlorophenol (PCP) in southern Taiwan’s Tainan City has attracted much attention of researchers there. This work addresses the possibility of providing an effective and environmentally friendly option for removing PCDD/Fs from soil in that field. Soil screening/sieving was first conducted to assess particle distribution. Fine sand was observed to be the major component of the soil, accounting for more than 60% of the total mass. A combination of ultrasonification and mechanical double-blade agitation was used to facilitate the washing of the soil using the biosurfactant anaerobic compost tea. More than 85 and 95% of total removal efficiencies were achieved for moderately and highly contaminated soils after 6 and 10 washing cycles, respectively, under ambient temperature, a soil/liquid ratio 1:2.5, 700 rpm, and over a relatively short duration. These results were achieved through the collision and penetration effects of this combined treatment as well as PCDD/F partitioning between the particles and anaerobic compost tea. This study represents the first to report the use of anaerobic compost tea solvent to wash soil highly contaminated by dioxin. It was concluded that anaerobic compost tea, rich in non-toxic bio-surfactants (e.g., alcohols, humic acids), can be used to improve bioavailability and bioactivity of the soil making bio-attenuation and full remediation more efficient.
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