Evaluation of zeolite-sand mixtures as reactive materials protecting groundwater at waste disposal sites


To recognize properties of a mixture of Vistula sand (medium sand acc. to USCS) with Slovak zeolite as reactive materials suitable for permeable reactive barriers proposed for protection of groundwater environment in vicinity of old landfills comprehensive laboratory investigations were performed. The present study investigates the removal of contaminants specific for landfill leachates onto zeolite-sand mixtures containing 20%, 50% and 80% of zeolite (ZS20, ZS50 and ZS80). Taking into account the results of batch tests it was concluded that the Langmuir isotherm best fitted the data. It was observed that the presence of ammonium, calcium and magnesium decreases the removal efficiency of copper by 32%. Column tests of contaminant migration through the attenuation zone of the reactive materials were interpreted using the software package CXTFIT, which solves a one-dimensional advection-dispersion equation. Column test results also indicate the strong influence of the presence of interfering substances on copper immobilisation; dynamic sorption capacities decrees twofold. Throughout the landfill leachate flow through ZS80 sample, a constant reduction of NH+4 (at 100%), K+ (at 93%) and Fetotal (at an average of 86%) were observed. There was no reduction in chemical oxygen demand and biochemical oxygen demand.

Key words

  • permeable reactive barrier;
  • reactive materials;
  • sorption criteria;
  • contaminants migration;
  • zeolite-sand mixture;
  • breakthrough curves


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