Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 9281–9292 | Cite as

Removal of phenanthrene and pyrene from contaminated sandy soil using hydrogen peroxide oxidation catalyzed by basic oxygen furnace slag

  • Enzhu Hu
  • Zan He
  • Xiangli Nan
  • Zaijian Yuan
  • Xiaojun LiEmail author
Research Article


Soil contamination with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is a serious problem in Northeast China, especially in the steel industrial area. The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using basic oxygen furnace (BOF) slag to activate the Fenton-like remediation of PAH-contaminated soil to achieve the objectives of “waste control by waste” and “resource recycling” in Chinese steel industry. The effects of BOF slag dosages, H2O2 concentrations, and exothermicity-driven evaporation were evaluated with respect to the removal efficiencies of phenanthrene (Phe) and pyrene (Pyr). Results indicated that PAH oxidation was proportional to the BOF slag dosages and was increased exponentially with H2O2 concentrations. Evaporation due to increasing temperature caused by exothermic reaction played an important role in total soil PAH losses. The sequential Fenton-like oxidation with a 3-times application of 15% H2O2 and the same BOF slag repeatedly used were able to remove 65.87% of Phe and 58.33% of Pyr, respectively. Soluble iron oxides containing in BOF slag were reduced, while amorphous iron oxide concentration remained stable during the repeated Fenton-like process. Column study mimics real field applications showing high removal efficiencies of Phe (36.05–83.20%) and Pyr (21.79–68.06%) in 30-cm depth of soil profile. The tests on soluble heavy metal concentrations after the reactions with high slag dosage or high H2O2 concentration confirmed that BOF slag would not cause heavy metal contamination. Consequently, BOF slag may provide an efficient way for enhancing the Fenton-like based remediation of heavily PAH-polluted soil with little risk on collateral heavy metal contamination. However, an external gas collection and purification equipment would be essential to eliminate the evaporated PAHs.


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Basic oxygen furnace slag Fenton-like reaction Soil remediation Exothermic reaction Soil column 


Funding information

This work was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (N172504021), the Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province (2017B030314092), and the Natural Science Foundation of Liaoning Province (201602250).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_4308_MOESM1_ESM.docx (193 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 193 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Resources and Environmental Sciences, School of MetallurgyNortheastern UniversityShenyangChina
  2. 2.Guangdong Key Laboratory of Agro-environmental Pollution Control and ManagementGuangdong Institute of Eco-environmental Science & TechnologyGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Institute of Applied EcologyChinese Academy of SciencesShenyangChina

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