Stabilization

The soil stabilization process can be used in either in situ or ex situ treatment. The process involves mixing the contaminated soil with binding materials such as cement, lime, or thermoplastic binders to bind the contaminants to the soil and reduce their mobility (U.S. EPA 1993b). Depending on the process and binding material, the final product ranges from a loose, soil-like material to concretelike molded solids. Pretreatment is usually required for soils with high contents of oil and grease, surfactants, or chelat-ing agents. The process is effective for soils, sludges, or slurries contaminated with inorganics.

The technology, however, is not effective for soils contaminated with organics or soils with high water or clay content. Organics, sulfates, or chlorides can interfere with the curing of the solidified product. Clay can interfere with the mixing process, adsorbing the key reactants and interrupting the polymerization chemistry of the solidification agents. Furthermore, the stabilization process increases the volume of treated soil since reagents are added.

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