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Received August 20, 1998,Revised September 20, 1998, Accepted , Available online

Volume 12,2000,Pages 108-114

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A laboratory study was conducted to evaluate the suitability of a mixed surfactant for washing oil from soils in the unsaturated zone. The commercial surfactant used for making mixed surfactant were alcohol polyethoxylate (AEO-9, nonionic) and sodium alcohol polyethoxylated ethers sulfate (AES, anionic). Based on the properties (critical micelle concentration, hydrophilic/ lipophilic balance and surface tension) of individual surfactants and the mixed surfactant, the preferred composition of an aqueous mixed surfactant solution was determined which consisted of 0 5% AEO-9 and 0 1% AES. The batch washing experiments have shown that the removal efficiency of oil from soils with mixed surfactant was higher than that with individual surfactants. Soil column washing results have shown that the sequence of oil removal efficiency was mixed surfactant (0.5% AEO-9 and 0.1% AES)>AEO-9 (0.1%)>AES (0.2%)>water, and the ratio was 1∶0 84∶0 66∶0 06. Biodegradation experiments by growth cells and resting cells were carried out to evaluate the environmental acceptability of the test surfactants. The results have shown that the surfactants were able to serve as sole carbon source for strains Pseudomonos sp. 52 and Weeksella sp. 6 which were isolated from petroleum contaminated soil. More than 90% of the parent mixed surfactants disappeared in two weeks under growth cell conditions.

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