Remediation of contaminated sediments containing both organic and inorganic chemicals using ultrasound and ozone nanobubbles

Shaini Aluthgun Hewage, Janitha H. Batagoda, Jay N. Meegoda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Most river sediments are contaminated with organic and inorganic pollutants and cause significant environmental damage and health risks. This research is evaluated an in-situ sediment remediation method using ultrasound and ozone nanobubbles to remove organic and inorganic chemicals in contaminated sediments. Contaminated sediment is prepared by mixing synthetic fine sediment with an organic (p-terphenyl) and an inorganic chemical (chromium). The prepared contaminated sediment is treated with ultrasound and ozone nanobubbles under different operating conditions. For the samples with the maximum initial concentration of 4211 mg/kg Cr and 1875 mg/kg p-terphenyl, average removal efficiencies are 71% and 60%, respectively, with 240 min of sonication with 2-min pulses, whereas 97.5% and 91.5% removal efficiencies are obtained for the same, respectively, as a single contaminant in the sediment. For the same maximum concentrations, the highest removal of p-terphenyl is 82.7% with 127.2 J/ml high energy density, and for Cr, it is 77.1% using the highest number of the treatment cycle and ozone usage with 78.75/ml energy density. The Cr highest removal efficiency of 87.2% is recorded with the reduced initial concentration of 1227 mg/kg with the highest treatment cycles. The Cr removal efficiency depends on the availability of oxidizing agents and the number of washing cycles of sediments, whereas P-terphenyl degradation is most likely influenced by the combined effects of oxidation and ultrasound-assisted pyrolysis and combustion of organics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116538
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • Chromium
  • Contaminants
  • Heavy metals
  • Nanobubbles
  • Organic
  • Ozone
  • Sediment remediation
  • Ultrasound
  • p-terphenyl


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