The feasibility of using zerovalent silicon (Si0) as a novel reductant to remove chlorinated ompounds and heavy metals in contaminated sites was investigated. The kinetics and degradation mechanism of carbon tetrachloride (CT) by Si0 were also examined. Results showed that zerovalent silicon could effectively dechlorinate the chlorinated compounds. A nearly complete dechlorination of CT by Si0 was obtained within 14 h. The produced concentrations of chloroform (CF) accounted for 71-88% loss of CT, showing that reductive dechlorination is the major degradation pathway for the degradation of chlorinated hydrocarbons by Si0. The degradation followed pseudo first-order kinetics and the normalized surface reaction rate constant (ksa) for CT dechlorination ranged between 0.0342 and 0.0454 L m-2 h-1 when CT concentrations were in the range of 3-20 μM. A linear relationship between the ksa and pH value was also established. In addition, zerovalent silicon has a high capability in the removal of heavy metals. 83% of Cr(VI) was removed by 0.5g Si0 within 5 h, which is higher than that by Fe0. The removal efficiency of divalent metal ions by Si0 followed the order of Cu(II) > Pb(II) > Ni(II). This indicates that zerovalent silicon is an alternative reductant and can undergo coupled reduction of heavy metals and chlorinated hydrocarbons in contaminated groundwater.

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