Kassem Alef

Technische Universität Berlin, Berlín, Berlin, Germany

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Publications (6)19.06 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Vegetable oil has the ability to extract polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from contaminated sandy soil for a remediation purpose, with some of the oil remaining in the soil. Although most of the PAHs were removed, the risk of residue oil in the soil was not known. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of the vegetable oil residue on higher plant growth and sandy soil properties after soil extraction for a better understanding of the soil remediation. Addition of sunflower oil and column experiment were performed on a PAH contaminated soil and/or a control soil, respectively. Soils were incubated for 90 d, and soil pH was measured during the soil incubation. Higher plant growth bioassays with Avena sativa L. (oat) and Brassica rapa L. (turnip) were performed after the incubation, and then soil organic carbon contents were measured. The results show that both the nutrient amendment and the sunflower oil degradation resulted in the decrease of soil pH. When these two process worked together, their effects were counteracted due to the consumption of the nutrients and oil removal, resulting in different pH profiles. Growth of A. sativa was adversely affected by the sunflower oil, and the nutrient amendments stimulated the A. sativa growth significantly. B. rapa was more sensitive to the sunflower oil than A. sativa. Only 1% sunflower oil addition plus nutrient amendment stimulated B. rapa growth. All the other treatments on B. rapa inhibited its growth significantly. The degradation of the sunflower oil in the soils was proved by the soil organic carbon content.
    Journal of Environmental Sciences 02/2008; 20(12):1458-62. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vegetable oil has been proven to be advantageous as a non-toxic, cost-effective and biodegradable solvent to extract polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from contaminated soils for remediation purposes. The resulting vegetable oil contained PAHs and therefore required a method for subsequent removal of extracted PAHs and reuse of the oil in remediation processes. In this paper, activated carbon adsorption of PAHs from vegetable oil used in soil remediation was assessed to ascertain PAH contaminated oil regeneration. Vegetable oils, originating from lab scale remediation, with different PAH concentrations were examined to study the adsorption of PAHs on activated carbon. Batch adsorption tests were performed by shaking oil-activated carbon mixtures in flasks. Equilibrium data were fitted with the Langmuir and Freundlich isothermal models. Studies were also carried out using columns packed with activated carbon. In addition, the effects of initial PAH concentration and activated carbon dosage on sorption capacities were investigated. Results clearly revealed the effectiveness of using activated carbon as an adsorbent to remove PAHs from the vegetable oil. Adsorption equilibrium of PAHs on activated carbon from the vegetable oil was successfully evaluated by the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms. The initial PAH concentrations and carbon dosage affected adsorption significantly. The results indicate that the reuse of vegetable oil was feasible.
    Journal of Hazardous Materials 06/2007; 143(1-2):372-8. · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Laboratory column experiments were performed to remove PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) from two contaminated soils using sunflower oil. Two liters of sunflower oil was added to the top of the columns (33 cm x 21 cm) packed with 1 kg of PAH-contaminated soil. The sunflower oil was applied sequentially in two different ways, i.e. five additions of 400 ml or two additions of 1l. The influence of PAH concentration and the volume of sunflower oil on PAH removal were examined. A soil respiration experiment was carried out and organic carbon contents of the soils were measured to determine degradability of remaining sunflower oil in the soils. Results showed that the sunflower oil was effective in removing PAHs from the two soils, more PAHs were removed by adding sunflower oil in two steps than in five steps, probably because of the slower flow rate in the former method. More than 90% of total PAHs was removed from a heavily contaminated soil (with a total 13 PAH concentration of 4721 mg kg(-1)) using 4 l of sunflower oil. A similar removal efficiency was obtained for another contaminated soil (with a total 13 PAH concentration of 724 mg kg(-1)), while only 2l was needed to give a similar efficiency. Approximately 4-5% of the sunflower oil remained in the soils. Soil respiration curves showed that remaining sunflower oil was degraded by allowing air exchange and supplying with nutrients. Organic carbon content of the soil was restored to original level after 180 d incubation. These results indicated that the sunflower oil had a great capacity to remove PAHs from contaminated soils, and sunflower oil solubilization can be an alternative technique for remediation of PAH contaminated soils.
    Chemosphere 03/2006; 62(5):780-7. · 3.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Microbial activity of a manufactured gas plant (MGP) soil, as well as remaining oil degradability, before and after remediation using sunflower oil was assessed. A sandy soil contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was collected from an MGP site in Berlin, Germany. Column solubilizations of PAHs from the field-moist soil and air-dried soil using sunflower oil as an extractant at an oil/soil ratio of 2:1 (v/m) were carried out to compare PAH removals from the soil under these two conditions. After column solubilizations, portions of untreated soil (UTS), solubilized field-moist soil (SFMS), and solubilized air-dried soil (SADS) were amended with nutrients. Both nutrient amended and unamended soil samples were subjected to soil respiratory measurement. Soil respiration parameters, such as basal respiration rate, nutrient-induced respiration rate, lag time, exponential growth rate, respiratory activation quotient, peak maximum time, and cumulative CO2 evolution were calculated from the soil respiration curves. The parameters were compared using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and least-significance difference (LSD). Results showed that the impact of soil moisture on the PAH removals was quite significant, with the SADS showing higher PAH removals and the SFMS showing lower ones. There were significant differences between the respiration parameters with respect to the UTS, SFMS, and SADS. Basal respiration rate, nutrient-induced respiration rate, and exponential growth rate were lower for the SFMS and SADS relative to the UTS. Lag time and peak maximum time were higher for the SFMS and SADS relative to the UTS. Exponential growth rate was higher for the SFMS relative to the SADS. These parameters demonstrated that soil microbial activity was reduced at the onset of the test, because a lot of bioavailable materials for microbial growth were removed by sunflower oil. On the other hand, cumulative CO2 evolutions in the SFMS and SADS were higher than that in the UTS, indicating that soil respiration was activated after soil microorganisms got acclimatized to the remaining sunflower oil, and remaining sunflower oil was biodegradable.
    Journal of Hazardous Materials 10/2005; 124(1-3):217-23. · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The influence of soil moisture on efficiency of sunflower oil extraction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from contaminated soil was investigated. The PAH-contaminated soil was collected from a manufactured gas plant (MGP) site in Berlin, Germany. Half of the soil was air-dried, and the other half was kept as field-moist soil. Batch experiments were performed using air-dried and field-moist soils, and sunflower oil was used as extractant at oil/soil ratios of 2:1 and 1:1 (v/m). The experimental data were fitted to a first-order empirical model to describe mass-transfer profiles of the PAHs. Column extraction experiments were also conducted. Field-moist and air-dried soils in the column were extracted using sunflower oil at an oil/soil ratio of 2:1. In the batch experiments, PAHs were more rapidly extracted from air-dried soil than from field-moist soil. Removal rate of total PAH increased 23% at oil/soil ratio of 1:1 and 15.5% at oil/soil ratio of 2:1 after the soil was air dried. The most favorable conditions for batch extraction were air-dried soil, with an oil/soil ratio of 2:1. In the column experiments, the removal rate of total PAH from air-dried soil was 30.7% higher than that from field-moist soil. For field-moist soil, extraction efficiencies of the batch extraction (67.2% and 81.5%) were better than that for column extraction (65.6%). However, this difference between the two methods became less significant for the air-dried soil, with a total removal rate of 96.3% for column extraction and 90.2% and 97% for batch extractions. A mass-balance test was carried out for analytical quality assurance. The results of both batch and column experiments indicated that drying the soil increased efficiency of extraction of PAHs from the MGP soil.
    Science of The Total Environment 06/2005; 343(1-3):51-9. · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study reports on the feasibility of remediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contaminated soils using sunflower oil, an environmentally-friendly solvent. Batch experiments were performed to test the influence of oil/soil ratio on the remediation of PAH contaminated soil, and to test the mass transfer behaviors of PAHs from soil to oil. An empirical model was employed to describe the kinetics of PAH dissolution and to predict equilibrium concentrations of PAHs in oil. PAH containing oil was regenerated using active carbon. Results show that dissolution of PAHs from a Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) soil at oil/soil ratios of one or two were almost the same. Nearly all PAHs (81-100%) could be removed by sunflower oil dissolution. Mass transfer coefficients for low molecular PAHs namely fluoranthene, phenanthrene and anthracene were one or two orders of magnitude higher than those for high molecular PAHs with 4-6 rings. Ninety milliliters of PAH containing oil could be regenerated by 10 g active carbon in a batch reactor. Such a remediation procedure indicates that sunflower oil is a promising agent for the removal of PAHs from MGP soils. However, further research is required before the method can be used for in situ remediation of contaminated sites.
    Chemosphere 02/2005; 58(3):291-8. · 3.14 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

82 Citations
19.06 Total Impact Points


  • 2005–2008
    • Technische Universität Berlin
      • Institute of Ecology
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
  • 2005–2007
    • Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology
      • Institute of Applied Ecology
      Beijing, Beijing Shi, China