Remediation of heavy-metal-contaminated sediments in USA using ultrasound and ozone nanobubbles

Janitha Hewa Batagoda, Shaini Dilsha Aluthgun Hewage, Jay N. Meegoda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The lower 12·875 km of the Passaic River (NJ, USA) is heavily contaminated due to industrial activities-specifically heavy metal extraction from chromium (Cr)-ore-processing plants and production of pesticides and herbicides. Conventional methods for remediating contaminated sediments have limited application due to the tidal action and urban development of the contaminated section of the Passaic River. Hence, this study proposes an in situ technology using ultrasound and ozone (O3) nanobubbles to remediate the sediments. Ultrasound is capable of desorbing heavy metals from soil, and ozone can oxidise the released heavy metals to a form that is mobile for ease of extraction. Nanobubbles are used as an effective ozone delivery method for the oxidation of heavy metals. Bench-scale tests were performed to evaluate the feasibility of the proposed technology. Ozone nanobubbles increased the solubility of ozone in water and reduced wastage. Also, due to the high ozone concentrations in water, chromium oxidation increased. A synthetic soil with a grain size distribution similar to that of actual river sediments was artificially contaminated with chromium and used in this research. Test results showed a 97·54% chromium removal efficiency, suggesting the feasibility of the proposed technology for pilot-scale studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-138
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering and Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 18 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science


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