American Society of Civil Engineers

Ground Rubber: Sorption Media for Ground Water Containing Benzene and O-Xylene

by David S. Kershaw, S.M.ASCE, (Grad. Res. Asst., Dept. of Civ. & Envir. Engrg., Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem, PA 18015), Barbara Crouthamel Kulik, (Formerly Grad. Res. Asst., Dept. of Civ. & Envir. Engrg., Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem, PA), and Sibel Pamukcu, M.ASCE, (Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Civ. & Envir. Engrg., Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem, PA)

Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Vol. 123, No. 4, April 1997, pp. 324-334, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: The purpose of the current study is to examine the ability of ground rubber to sorb benzene and O-xylene from water contaminated with aromatic hydrocarbons. The study consisted of running both batch and packed bed column tests to determine the sorption capacity, the required sorption equilibration time, and the flow through utilization efficiency of ground rubber under various contact times when exposed to water contaminated with various amounts of benzene or O-xylene. Initial batch test results indicate that ground rubber can attain equilibrium sorption capacities up to 1.3 or 8.2 mg of benzene or O-xylene, respectively, per gram of tire rubber at solution equilibrium concentrations of 10 mg/L. Packed bed column tests indicate that ground tire rubber has on the average a 40% utilization rate when a hydraulic residence time of 15 min is used. Possible future uses of ground rubber as a sorption media could include, but are not limited to, the use of ground rubber as an aggregate in slurry cutoff walls that are in contact with petroleum products. Ground rubber could also be used as a sorption media in “pump-and-treat” methodologies or as a sorption media in in-situ reactive permeable barriers.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Tire recycling