Longevity of coal waste for controlling cadmium-contaminated groundwater considering groundwater velocity

Jae Hyun Kim, Ho Yeon Kwak, Eunjie Kwak, Bong Ju Kim, Soonjae Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Coal waste composed of naturally occurring minerals is applicable as a reactive medium to permeable reactive barriers due to its reactivity to heavy metals. In this study, we evaluated the longevity of coal waste as PRB media to control heavy metal-contaminated groundwater considering variable groundwater velocity. Breakthrough experiments were conducted using coal waste-filled column by injecting artificial groundwater, 10 mg/L of cadmium solution. The artificial groundwater was fed to the column at different flow rates to mimic a wide range of porewater velocities in the saturated zone. The reaction between cadmium breakthrough curves was analyzed using a two-site nonequilibrium sorption model. The cadmium breakthrough curves showed a significant retardation, which increased with decreasing porewater velocity. The greater the retardation, the longer the longevity of coal waste could be expected. The greater retardation under a slower velocity environment was due to the higher fraction of equilibrium reaction. The nonequilibrium reaction parameters could be functionalized with respect to the porewater velocity. The simulation of contaminant transport using the reaction parameters could be used as a method to evaluate the longevity of the pollution-blocking material in an underground environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51170-51179
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Korea Environment Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI) through the Subsurface Environmental Pollution Risk Management Technology Development Project, funded by the Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE) (ARQ202101728001). This research was also funded by Korea Mine Rehabilitation and Mineral Resources Corporation, grant name of “A Study on Permeable Reactive Barriers Evaluation and Efficient Maintenance of Tailing Dam (2022).”

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Cadmium
  • Coal waste
  • Longevity
  • Nonequilibrium reaction
  • Permeable reactive barrier
  • Pore water velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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