Removal of cadmium from contaminated soil using soapnut, shikakai, rhamnolipids and EDTA

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This study investigates the operating variables of washing experiments involving four washing agents [Sapindus mukorossi (soapnut), Acacia concinna (shikakai), rhamnolipids and Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)] for removal of cadmium (Cd) from contaminated soil in laboratory scale batch and column experiments. The operating variables included: time (2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 48 and 72 hrs), soil-solution ratio (1:10, 1:20, 1:30, 1:40 and 1:50), surfactant concentrations (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6% by mass) and the pH of the washing solution (3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5 and 5.5). Results show that the removal efficiency increases with increase in surfactant concentration, soil-solution ratio as well as washing time, but decreases as pH increases.

It was also observed that the maximum removal efficiencies of 84.9% for soapnut, 87.4% for shikakai and 68.9% were obtained when 0.01M EDTA was mixed with biosurfactants at different concentrations. In column experiments, the highest removal efficiencies of 74.05%, 73.08%, 69.07%, 63.08% and 12.78% were obtained for EDTA, soapnut, shikakai, rhamnolipids and distilled water. The overall performance of the washing process indicates that saponin utilization in soil washing is much more effective than rhamnolipid.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-52
Number of pages11
JournalResearch Journal of Chemistry and Environment
Issue number2
Early online date30 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Biosurfactants
  • Remediation
  • Saponin
  • Soil washing
  • Spiked soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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