A Study of a Combined Microwave and Thermal Desorption Process for Contaminated Soil

  • Ha, Sang-An (Department of Environmental Engineering, Center for Green Fusion Technology, Silla University) ;
  • Choi, Kyoung-Sik (Department of Environmental Engineering, Center for Green Fusion Technology, Silla University)
  • Received : 2010.08.27
  • Accepted : 2010.11.22
  • Published : 2010.12.30


In order to treat soil contaminated with high percentages of water and petroleum, the combined microwave and thermal desorption process was studied, which was composed of the consecutive connection of two pre-treatment processes. For the thickness of the contaminated soil layer on the transfer conveyor belt, the optimal total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) removal rate was studied with respect to the duration of microwave exposure in the consecutive process combined with thermal desorption. The TPH removal rate when the contaminated soil layer thickness was 1 cm at 6 kW of microwave power was 80%. The removals rates for 2 and 3 cm soil layer thicknesses were both 70%. Under identical experimental conditions, the TPH removal rate for the microwave pre-treatment, when considering the soil particle size, was over 70%. The lowest TPH removal rate was achieved with a particle diameter of 2.35 mm. For contaminated soil with 30% water content, 6 kW and a thermal desorption temperature of $600^{\circ}C$ were the optimal operational conditions for the removal of THP. However, considering the fuel consumption cost, 4 kW and a thermal desorption temperature of $300^{\circ}C$ would be the most economic conditions.


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