Magazine article USA TODAY

Scrubbing Bubbles Clean Up Soil

Magazine article USA TODAY

Scrubbing Bubbles Clean Up Soil

Article excerpt

Super-tiny bubbles made from an ingredient commonly found in shampoos and soaps are highly effective in cleaning up hazardous wastes in soils. Louisiana State University engineers report. "Look on the label of your shampoo bottle and you'll find the bubble-making ingredient. It's called `sodium lauryl sulfate,'" Dipak Roy, professor of civil engineering, points out. "It's also a component in household detergents and soaps." The compound works as a surface-active agent or surfactant, reducing friction between surfaces, loosening and dissolving oily wastes much the same way detergents clean fabric in the washing machine.

The micro-bubble surfactant can be used to clean soils containing many types of chemicals, especially imbedded oily wastes that pump-and-treat procedures leave behind, indicates David Constant, director of LSU's Hazardous Waste Research Center. "You can just keep pumping and pumping where the waste is bound up in the soil and subsurfaces and it won't come out. You can go on for years - decades - trying to remove it. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.