Synthesis and characterization of hydrophobic zeolite for the treatment of hydrocarbon contaminated ground water Academic Article uri icon


  • Hydrophobic zeolite was synthesized, modified and characterized for its suitability as a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) material for treatment of hydrocarbons in groundwater. Batch sorption tests were performed along with a number of standard characterization techniques. High and low ionic strength and pH tests were also conducted to determine their impact on hydrocarbon uptake. Further ion exchange tests were conducted to determine the potential for the zeolite to act as both a hydrocarbon capture material and nutrient a delivery system for bioremediation. The zeolite was coated with octadecyltrichlorosilane (C18) to change its surface properties. The results of the surface characterization tests showed that the underlying zeolite structure was largely unaffected by the coating. TGA measurements showed a reactive carbon content of 1-2%. Hydrocarbon (o-xylene and naphthalene) sorption isotherms results compared well with the behaviour of similar materials investigated by other researchers. Ionic strength and pH had little effect on hydrocarbon sorption and the treated zeolite had an ion exchange capacity of 0.3 mequiv./g, indicating it could be utilised as a nutrient source in PRBs. Recycle tests indicated that the zeolite could be used cleaned and reused at least three times without significant reduction in treatment effectiveness.


  • Northcott, Kathy A
  • Bacus, Joannelle
  • Taya, Naoyuki
  • Komatsu, Yu
  • Perera, Jilska M
  • Stevens, Geoffrey W

publication date

  • November 2010