Leachability and Microstructural Analysis of Clay and Lime Stabilized/Solidified Polluted Sediment – Long-Term Performance
The objective of this study is to enable a better understanding of the effectiveness of solidification/stabilization (S/S) technique in treating polluted sediment, and provide the much needed validation of the longevity of the technology. In this research kaolinite and montmorillonite, with a certain proportion of lime, were used for S/S treatment of sediment polluted with metals. Leachability of metals was examined using the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) and the German standard leaching test (DIN 3841-4 S4) prescribed in national legislative. Results indicated successful S/S treatment using both clays and lime, from the aspect of all leached metals even with pH variations over time and slight changes in structural integrity of specimens. X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM) analyses and porosity measurement were also performed on the prepared monolithic matrices. XRD qualitative and semi-quantitative analysis proved hydration and pozzolanic product formation with increase in their content and finer crystallites formation over time. SEM analysis confirmed the presence of morphologically dense and stable structures while pore size distribution indicated on mesoporous matrices with ongoing compaction over time. Generally, structural microanalysis indicated the formation of hardened matrices over time and hydration process has been fully completed and further carbonation took place. Unconfined compressive strength measurement gave the satisfying results and matured monolite with 30 % of montmorillonite and 10 % of lime can be considered potentially applicable as non-load-bearing material. In summary, all results indicated that this kind of S/S treatment can achieve satisfactory durability and represent reliable and economically feasible technique for long-term remediation of metal polluted sediment.