In Situ Treatment of Cyanide-Contaminated Groundwater by Iron Cyanide Precipitation
Authors: Ghosh, Rajat S.; Dzombak, David A.; Luthy, Richard G.; Smith, John R.
Source: Water Environment Research, Volume 71, Number 6, September 1999 , pp. 1217-1228(12)
Publisher: Water Environment Federation
Abstract:Groundwater contamination with cyanide is common at many former or active industrial sites. Metal–cyanide complexes typically dominate aqueous speciation of cyanide in groundwater systems, with iron–cyanide complexes often most abundant. Typically, metal–cyanide complexes behave as nonadsorbing solutes In sand–gravel aquifer systems in the neutral pH range, rendering cyanide relatively mobile in groundwater systems. Groundwater pump–and–treat systems have often been used to manage cyanide contamination in groundwater.
This study examined the feasibility of using in situ precipitation of iron cyanide in a reactive barrier to attenuate the movement of cyanide in groundwater. Laboratory column experiments were performed in which cyanide solutions were passed through mixtures of sand and elemental iron filings. Removal of dissolved cyanide was evaluated in a variety of cyanide–containing influents under various flow rates and sand-to-iron weight ratios. Long-term column tests performed with various cyanide–containing influents under both oxic and anoxic conditions, at neutral pH and at flow rates typical of sand–gravel porous media, yielded effluent concentrations of total cyanide as low as 0.5 mg/L. Effluent cyanide concentrations achieved were close to the solubilities of Turnbull's blue–hydrous ferric oxide solid solutions, indicating co-precipitation of the two solids. Maximum cyanide removal efficiency was achieved with approximately 10% by weight of iron in the sand-iron mixtures; higher iron contents did not increase removal efficiency significantly. Results obtained indicate that in situ precipitation is a promising passive treatment approach for cyanide in groundwater.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1999
- Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year. Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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