SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2000

Use of Paper Clay as a Barrier for Treatment of Contaminated Ground Water


As Superfund approaches its twentieth anniversary, it has become clear that many commonly employed ground water remediation methods have not been successful. Active methods such as “pump and treat” have been shown to be effective only during operational time frames, and once discontinued, contaminants often reach pre-treatment levels. As a result, governmental agencies and the industry are looking to containment of pollution as a better long-term solution. The research presented here begins to take containment to the next level, by offering a treatment component through passive remediation. The objective of the current research was to determine the feasibility of utilizing paper mill sludge, a wastewater treatment residual, as a sorbent of heavy metals in water.

If it is found that paper sludge (herein referred to as paper clay) is an effective sorbent of heavy metals, future use may include slurry walls or other containment layers, which are in contact with metal contaminated solutions. In such a system, the pollution will be both contained, and slowly remediated with little external energy or maintenance. To assess the feasibility of paper clay as a sorbent material, sequential batch tests were conducted.

Author Information

Moo-Young, HK
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
Gallagher, MJ
Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, One Penn Center, Philadelphia, PA
Amadon, A
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
Polaski, J
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
Wolfe, M
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 108–122
DOI: 10.1520/STP14362S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5425-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2855-2