Application of persulfate to remediate petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil: feasibility and comparison with common oxidants

J Hazard Mater. 2011 Feb 28;186(2-3):2097-102. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2010.12.129. Epub 2011 Jan 6.


In this study, batch experiments were conducted to evaluate the feasibility of petroleum-hydrocarbon contaminated soil remediation using persulfate oxidation. Various controlling factors including different persulfate and ferrous ion concentrations, different oxidants (persulfate, hydrogen peroxide, and permanganate), and different contaminants (diesel and fuel oil) were considered. Results show that persulfate oxidation is capable of treating diesel and fuel oil contaminated soil. Higher persulfate and ferrous ion concentrations resulted in higher diesel degrading rates within the applied persulfate/ferrous ion molar ratios. A two-stage diesel degradation was observed in the batch experiments. In addition, treatment of diesel-contaminated soil using in situ metal mineral activation under ambient temperature (e.g., 25°C) may be a feasible option for site remediation. Results also reveal that persulfate anions could persist in the system for more than five months. Thus, sequential injections of ferrous ion to generate sulfate free radicals might be a feasible way to enhance contaminant oxidation. Diesel oxidation efficiency and rates by the three oxidants followed the sequence of hydrogen peroxide>permanganate>persulfate in the limited timeframes. Results of this study indicate that the application of persulfate oxidation is a feasible method to treat soil contaminated by diesel and fuel oil.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Pollution / analysis*
  • Environmental Restoration and Remediation / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Fuel Oils / analysis
  • Hydrocarbons / analysis*
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / chemistry
  • Kinetics
  • Manganese Compounds / chemistry
  • Oxidants / chemistry*
  • Oxides / chemistry
  • Petroleum / analysis*
  • Sodium Compounds / chemistry*
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis*
  • Sulfates / chemistry*


  • Fuel Oils
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Manganese Compounds
  • Oxidants
  • Oxides
  • Petroleum
  • Sodium Compounds
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Sulfates
  • permanganic acid
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • sodium persulfate