This study was designed to assess the availability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) present at a gasworks site to different soil remediation techniques. The study examined the effect on PAH availability of using different organic solvents, the degree of pretreatment, and the extraction time. In total, 25 PAHs (with two to six fused rings) and five carbonyl derivatives were measured. The results indicated that the PAHs and their derivatives were bound loosely to the surface of the studied soil and that there were no significant kinetic boundaries associated with the extraction of the PAHs. Furthermore, it was concluded that the studied soil was not suitable for bioremediation, as the concentration of PAHs with low molecular weight were limited. However, pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) with methanol as the solvent extracted 97% of all PAHs and PAH-derivatives, indicating that extraction may be effective as part of a soil remediation technique for old gasworks soils.
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