Effect of an alkaline environment on the engineering behavior of cement-stabilized/solidified Zn-contaminated soils
Although the stabilization/solidification method has been widely used for remediation of heavy metal-contaminated soils in recent decades, the engineering behavior and mobility of heavy metal ions under alkaline groundwater conditions are still unclear. Therefore, the unconfined compressive strength test (UCS) combined with toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) and general acid neutralization capacity (GANC) was used to investigate the effects of alkalinity (using NaOH to simulate alkalinity in the environment) on the mechanical and leaching characteristics of cement-solidified/stabilized (S/S) Zn-contaminated soils. Moreover, the microstructure was analyzed using the scanning electron microscope (SEM) technology. The results indicated that alkaline environment could accelerate the UCS development compared with specimens without soaking in NaOH solution,, regardless of whether the specimens contained Zn2+ or not. And the UCS varied obviously attributed to the variations of both NaOH concentration and soaking time. Except for the specimens soaked for 90 days, the leached Zn2+ concentrations were higher than that of without soaking. However, the leachability of Zn2+ in all the stabilized specimens is in the regulatory level. ANC results indicated that the Zn2+ leaching behavior can be divided into three stages related to the initial leachate pH. Moreover, SEM results proved that the alkaline environment could actually facilitate the cement hydration process. The results proved in the present paper could be useful in treating the heavy metal-contaminated soils involved in the solidification/stabilization technology under alkaline environment.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-017-0400-9
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