The anthracene (ANT), and the large amounts of soil contaminated by this hazardous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), necessitate developing a practical treatment method to prevent further environmental damage. Here, we describe a method for effectively pretreating soil highly contaminated with ANT (≈500 mg ANT/kg soil), i.e., we apply Fenton oxidation in which ethanol is added to increase ANT removal. In addition to determining the optimum amounts of ethanol, Fe2+, and H2O2 needed to achieve maximum removal efficiency of ANT from simulated soil (andesol particles), i.e., ≈97%, we also employ GC-MS and HPLC to determine the main oxidation product generated by the optimized Fenton reaction: 9,10-anthraquinon (ANTQUI). The biodegradability of ANTQUI is subsequently confirmed to be much more rapid than that of ANT, i.e., biodegradability of 90 versus 30% over 30 days, results demonstrating that the proposed treatment method can be effectively applied to remove ANT prior to disposal at industrial waste sites.

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