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    Among different types of heavy metal-contaminated soil, copper (Cu)-contaminated soil is very serious, and the Cu concentration in it is usually very high. It is common to solidify/stabilize Cu-contaminated soil using alkaline cementitious material. However, the remediated Cu-contaminated soil fails to meet the requirements of environmental safety and load-bearing capacity. This dilemma in the remediation of Cu-contaminated soil hinders the effective utilization of land resources. In this study, epoxy resin (EP) was utilized to solidify/stabilize Cu-contaminated soil due to its stable and rapid curing performance and excellent resistance to acid, alkali, and salt erosion. The mechanical properties, environmental effects, and curing mechanism of EP-cured Cu-contaminated soil were investigated. The results showed that the application of EP significantly enhanced the unconfined compressive strength (UCS), cohesion and internal friction angle of Cu-contaminated soil. All specimens met the UCS criterion specified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USPEA), namely no less than 0.35 MPa, which indicated that those EP-cured Cu-contaminated soil were qualified for practical engineering applications. According to the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP), the application of EP enhanced the stability of Cu in Cu-contaminated soil. The leaching index of Cu ranged from 11 to 14. A high leaching index showed that the S/S treatment was safe and effective and the remediated Cu-contaminated soil satisfied the environmental requirement for heavy metals. This study confirmed the feasibility of utilizing EP in the solidification/stabilization (S/S) technology to convert high-concentration Cu-contaminated soil into secure and stable engineering materials. The remediation of Cu-contaminated soil by EP lays a solid foundation for the safe treatment and reuse of heavy metal-contaminated land resources. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Citation

    Qiang Ma, Jingjie Lei, Jun He, Zhi Chen, Wentao Li. Epoxy resin for solidification/stabilization of soil contaminated with copper (II): Leaching, mechanical, and microstructural characterization. Environmental research. 2024 Jan 01;240(Pt 1):117512

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    PMID: 37914008

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