Soil vapor extraction (SVE) and bioremediation (BR) are two of the most common soil remediation technologies. Their application is widespread; however, both present limitations, namely related to the efficiencies of SVE on organic soils and to the remediation times of some BR processes. This work aimed to study the combination of these two technologies in order to verify the achievement of the legal clean-up goals in soil remediation projects involving seven different simulated soils separately contaminated with toluene and xylene. The remediations consisted of the application of SVE followed by biostimulation. The results show that the combination of these two technologies is effective and manages to achieve the clean-up goals imposed by the Spanish Legislation. Under the experimental conditions used in this work, SVE is sufficient for the remediation of soils, contaminated separately with toluene and xylene, with organic matter contents (OMC) below 4 %. In soils with higher OMC, the use of BR, as a complementary technology, and when the concentration of contaminant in the gas phase of the soil reaches values near 1 mg/L, allows the achievement of the clean-up goals. The OMC was a key parameter because it hindered SVE due to adsorption phenomena but enhanced the BR process because it acted as a microorganism and nutrient source.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 2013, Vol 185, Issue 10, p. 8429-8438