TCLP underestimates leaching of arsenic from solid residuals under landfill conditions

Amlan Ghosh, Muhammed Mukiibi, Wendell Ela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


Recent revision of the arsenic in drinking water standard will cause many utilities to implement removal technologies. Most of the affected utilities are expected to use adsorption onto solid media for arsenic removal. The arsenic-bearing solid residuals (ABSR) from adsorption processes are to be disposed of in nonhazardous landfills. The Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) tests whether a waste is hazardous or nonhazardous; most solid residuals pass the TCLP. However, the TCLP poorly simulates the alkaline pH, low redox potential, biological activity, long retention time, and organic composition of mature landfills. These same conditions are likely to favor mobilization of arsenic from metal oxide sorbents. This study quantifies leaching of arsenic from Activated Alumina (AA) and Granular Ferric Hydroxide (GFH), two sorbents expected to be widely used for arsenic removal. The sorbents were subjected to the TCLP, the Waste Extraction Test (WET), an actual landfill leachate, and two synthetic leachate solutions. Up to tenfold greater arsenic concentration is extracted by an actual landfill leachate than by the TCLP. Equilibrium leachate concentrations are not achieved within 18h (the TCLP duration) and an N2 headspace and end-over-end tumbling increase the rate of arsenic mobilization. However, tests with actual landfill leachate indicate the WET may also underestimate arsenic mobilization in landfills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4677-4682
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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