Document Type


Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Soil remediation


Civil Engineering | Environmental Engineering


Bench-scale soil washing experiments were conducted for simultaneous removal of heavy metals (Pb, Cu, Zn) and low-level petroleum hydrocarbon contaminants from soils. Various washing solutions including hydrochloric acid (HCl), nitric acid (HNO3), sulfuric acid (H2SO4), tartaric acid (C4H6O6) and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (C10H16N2O8, EDTA) were used. The concentration of the washing solutions ranged from 0.1 to 3M with a liquid-to-solid ratio of 10. The soil washing results showed that hydrochloric acid (HCl) was the best washing solution at 3M for heavy metal removal. Other washing solutions also showed a significant removal of heavy metals, except for sulfuric acid (H2SO4). Sulfuric acid (H2SO4) exhibited the worst performance among all washing solutions used with respect to Pb removal. 1M HCl and HNO3were sufficient for effective Pb and Cu removal, and all of the tested washing solutions at a concentration of 0.1M produced results compliant with the Korean warning standard for Zn removal. In the case of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), tartaric acid (C4H6O6) produced the highest removals at all concentration levels compared with other washing solutions. More specifically, TPH removal efficiencies exceeded 33 and 82 % at the lowest (0.1M) and highest (3M) tartaric acid (TA) concentrations, respectively. Overall, TA could be a viable washing solution for the removal of both heavy metals (Pb, Cu, Zn) and TPH from contaminated soils.


This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Environmental Earth Sciences. The final authenticated version is available online at:



Publisher Citation

Moon, D. H., Park, J. W., Koutsospyros, A., Cheong, K. H., Chang, Y. Y., Baek, K., ... & Park, J. H. (2016). Assessment of soil washing for simultaneous removal of heavy metals and low-level petroleum hydrocarbons using various washing solutions. Environmental Earth Sciences, 75(10), 884.