Application of the Nonionic Surfactant-enhanced Soil Washing to the Kuwait Soil Seriously Contaminated with the Crude Oil

원유로 심하게 오염된 쿠웨이트 토양 정화를 위한 비이온 계면활성제의 토양세척법 적용

  • Received : 2015.11.17
  • Accepted : 2015.12.30
  • Published : 2015.12.28


Batch experiments were performed to determine the feasibility of the surfactant-enhanced soil washing process at various washing conditions for the Kuwait soil seriously contaminated with the crude oil. The soil was sampled at a dried oil pond in Kuwait and its average TPH concentration was 223,754 mg/kg, which was too high to apply the conventional remediation process. Nine commercialized non-ionic surfactants were used for the batch experiment to measure the surfactant solubility for the crude oil because it was reported that they have worked for the soil remediation. Among them, three surfactants having high crude oil solubility were used for the soil washing experiment. From the result of batch experiment, 5% TritonX-100 washing solution showed the highest TPH removal efficiency (67%) for the crude oil contaminated soil. However, because the residual TPH concentration in the washed soil was still higher than the clean-up level in Kuwait (10,000 mg/kg), the repeated soil washing was performed. After five washings with 2% surfactant solution, the cumulative TPH removal efficiency was higher than 96% and the residual TPH concentration in the soil went down below the clean-up level. To measure the desorption capacity of TritonX-100 remained in the soil after the soil washing, the silica beads and the soil were washed five times with 2% TritonX-100 surfactant solution and then they were washed again with distilled water to detach the surfactant adsorbed on beads or soil. After five washings with surfactant solution, 7.8% and 19.6% of the surfactant was adsorbed on beads and soil, respectively. When additionally washed with distilled water, most of the residual surfactant were detached from beads and only 4.3% of surfactant was remained in soil. From the results, it was investigated that the surfactant-enhanced soil washing process with TritonX-100, Tergitol S-15-7, and Tergitol S-15-9 has a great capability for the remediation of the Kuwait soil seriously contaminated by crude oil (more than 220,000 mg/kg).


surfactant;crude oil;soil washing;Tergitol;TritonX-100


  1. Alcantara, M.T., Gomez, J., Pazos, M. and Sanroman, M.A. (2010) Electrokinetic remediation of PAH mixtures from kaolin. Journal of Hazardous Materials, v. 179, p.1156-1160.
  2. Ali-Hussain, A. and Drury, G.J. (1997) Kuwait post-capping: the return to production. SPE/IADC Middle East Drilling Conf, Bahrain, Nov., 1997, Paper SPE-39259, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Richardson, TX.
  3. Bou-Yabes, A.A. and Akbar, S.H. (1993) The aftermath of the Kuwait fires. SPE/IADC Drilling Conf, Amsterdam, Feb., 1993, Paper SPE-25699, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Richardson, TX.
  4. BP (British Petroleum) (2015) Statistical Review of World Energy. Annual Report, Pureprint Group, UK from
  5. Chang, J.H., Qiang, Z., Huang, C.P. and Ellis A.V. (2009) Phenanthrene removal in unsaturated soils treated by electrokinetics with different surfactants-Triton X-100 and rhamnolipid. Colloids and Surface A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, v.348, p.157-163.
  6. Chang, S. (2010) Characterization and feasibility study of soil washing process applied to soil having high uranium and cesium contents. MS. thesis, Pukyong National University, Korea.
  7. Clint, J.H. (1992) Surfactant Aggregation, Chapman & Hall, New York, USA.
  8. CONCAWE (European Oil Company Organization for Environment, Health and Safety) (1984) Capability of oil industry installation for the disposal of split oil. Annual Report, The Hague, Netherlands.
  9. Gomes, H.I., Celia, D.F. and Ribeiro, A.B. (2012) Electrokinetic remediation of organochlorines in soil-Enhancement techniques and integration with otherremediation technologies. Chemosphere, v.87, p.1077-1090.
  10. Deshpande, S., Shiau, B.J., Wade, D., Sabatini, D.A. and Harwell, J.H. (1999) Surfactant selection for enhancing ex situ soil washing. Water Research, v.33, p.351-360.
  11. Fetter, C.W. (2008) Contaminant Hydrogeology, Waveland Press, Inc., Illinois, USA.
  12. Google (2015) Google Maps (from
  13. Griffiths, R.A. (1995) Soil-washing technology and practice. Journal of Hazardous Materials, v.40, p.175-189.
  14. Heo, H. (2015) Application of the surfactant-enhanced soil washing to crude oil contaminated soils in Kuwait. Ms. thesis, Pukyong National University, Korea.
  15. Huguenot, D., Moisset, E., van Hullebusch, E.D. and Oturan, M.A. (2015) Combination of surfactant enhanced soil washing and electro-Fenton process for the treatment of soils contaminated by petroleum hydrocarbons. Journal of Environmental Management, v.153, p.40-47.
  16. Kantar, C. and Honeyman, B.D. (2006) Citric acid enhanced remediation of soils contaminated with uranium by soil flushing and soil washing. Journal of Environmental Engineering, v.132, p.247-255.
  17. Karagunduz, A., Gezer, A. and Karasuloglu, G. (2007) Surfactant enhanced electrokinetic remediation of DDT from soils. Science of the Total Environment, v.385, p.1-11.
  18. Khalladi, R., Benhabiles, O., Bentahar, F. and Moulai- Mostefa, N. (2009) Surfactant remediation of diesel fuel polluted soil. Journal of Hazardous Materials, v.164, p.1179-1184.
  19. KEITI (Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute) (2015) The establishment of a network inventory for soil and groundwater remediation processes. Annual Report.
  20. KNOC (Korea National Oil Corporation) (2015) Korea Monthly Oil Statistics, Monthly Report, Petronet (from
  21. Kolosov, A.Y., Popov, K.I., Shabanova, N.A., Artem'eva, A.A., Kogut, B.M., Frid, A.S., Zel'venskii, V.Y. and Urinovich, E.M. (2001) Electrokinetic removal of hydrophobic organic compounds from soil. Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, v.74, p.631-635.
  22. KOSSGE (Korean Society of Soil and Groundwater Environment) (2001) Soil Environmental Engineering, Hyangmoon Publishing Co., Seoul, Korea.
  23. Kuyukina, M.S., Ivshina, I.B., Makarov, S.O., Litvinenko, L.V., Cunningham, C.J. and Philp, J.C. (2005) Effect of biosurfactants on crude oil desorption and mobilization in a soil system. Environment International. v.31, p.155-161.
  24. Lee, M., Kang, H.M. and Do, W.H. (2005) Application of nonionic surfactant-enhanced in situ flushing to a diesel contaminated site. Water Research, v.39, p.139-146.
  25. Lee, M., Kim, J. and Kim, I. (2011) In-situ biosurfactant flushing, coupled with a highly pressurized air injection, to remediate the bunker oil contaminated site. Geosciences Journal, v.15, p.313-321.
  26. Lima, A.T., Kleingeld, P.J., Heister, K. and Loch, J.P.G. (2011) Removal of PAHs from contaminated clayey soil by means of electro-osmosis. Separation and Purification Technology, v.79, p.221-229.
  27. Mittal, K.L. (1979) Solution Chemistry of Surfactants, Plenum Publishing Corporation, New York, USA.
  28. MOE (Korean Ministry of Environment) (2010) Standardization for the promoting of soil remediation industry and the counterplan for the world competition. Final Report. Ministry of Environment, Korea.
  29. KOE (Korean Ministry of Environment) (2011) Development of bioremediation technology to clean up of oil contaminated soil in Kuwait, Final Report/2010-13004-0004-0, Ministry of Environment, Korea.
  30. MOE (Korean Ministry of Environment) (2012) Assessment of soil and groundwater pollution for industrial complex in Korea, Annual Report. Ministry of Environment, Korea.
  31. Mulligan, C.N., Yong, R.N. and Gibbs, B.F. (2001) Surfactant-enhanced remediation of contaminated soil: a review. Engineering Geology, v.60, p.371-380.
  32. Omastova, M., Trchova, M., Kovarova, J. and Stejskal, J. (2003) Synthesis and structural study of polypyrroles prepared in the presence of surfactants. Synthetic Metals, v.138, p.447-455.
  33. Park, S.W., Lee, J.Y., Yang, J.S., Kim, K.J. and Baek, K. (2009) Electrokinetic remediation of contaminated soil with waste-lubricant oils and zinc. Journal of Hazardous Materials, v.169, p.1168-1172.
  34. Rosen, M.J. and Kunjappu, J.T. (2012) Surfactants and Interfacial Phenomena, John Wiley & Sons, USA.
  35. Saenger, P. (1994) Cleaning up the Arabian Gulf: Aftermath of an Oil Spill, School of Environment, Science and Engineering Papers, Southern Cross University, USA.
  36. Simmons, M.R. (2002) The World's Giant Oilfields, M. King Hubbert Center for Petroleum Supply Studies, Simmons and Company International, Final Report.
  37. Urum, K., Grigson, S., Pekdemir, T. and McMenamy, S. (2006) A comparison of the efficiency of different surfactants for removal of crude oil from contaminated soils. Chemosphere, v.62, p.1403-1410.
  38. USEPA (1991) Guide for Conducting Treatability Studies Under CERCLA: Soil Washing, Interim Guidance, Office of Emergency and Remidial Response Washington, D.C., EPA/540/2-91/020A.
  39. West, C.C. and Harwell, J.H. (1992) Surfactants and subsurface remediation, Environmental Science & Technology, v.26, p.2324-2340.
  40. Wikipedia (2015) The Free Encyclopedia. (from
  41. Yang, J.W., Yang, J.S., Lee, Y.J., Kim, S.H. and Shin, H.J. (2008) Effect of surfactant types on washing of dieselcontaminated soil. Journal of soil & groundwater environment, v.13, p.8-14.
  42. MOE (Korean Ministry of Environment) (2009) The master plan for soil conservation in Korea, Final Report. Ministry of Environment, Korea.


Supported by : 부경대학교