Publication Details

Banasiak, L. Joan., Indraratna, B., Lugg, G., Pathirage, U., McIntosh, G. & Neil Rendell, N. (2015). Permeable reactive barrier rejuvenation by alkaline wastewater. Environmental Geotechnics, 2 (1), 45-55.


Chemical armouring of recycled concrete in a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) used for the neutralisation of acidic groundwater in acid sulfate soil terrain significantly decreases its acid neutralising capacity (ANC) by approximately 50% compared with its theoretical ANC. A long-term column test was conducted under simulated field groundwater conditions to assess the re-conditioning of armoured recycled concrete aggregates with alkaline wastewater, with the aim to restore and enhance the ANC and longevity of the PRB. The benefits of alkaline wastewater injection included sharp but short enhancement of the recycled concretes' ANC, as indicated by an increase in effluent pH (pH 3 to 7·7) and alkalinity (0 to 21·6 mM CaCO3) and a reduction in oxidation reduction potential (ORP, 530 to 160-200 mV). While the results showed that the alkaline wastewater did not significantly reduce chemical armouring, it aided in the liberation of lodged mineral precipitates between concrete aggregates, reducing the severity of chemical and physical clogging. Batch tests demonstrated that, when exposed to acidic water, the ANC of recycled concrete pre-conditioned with alkaline wastewater was enhanced as indicated by higher pH, lower ORP and greater release of calcium (Ca2+) and alkalinity, compared to non-pre-conditioned concrete.

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