Positioning activated carbon amendment technologies in a novel framework for sediment management

D. Kupryianchyk, M.I. Rakowska, D. Reible, J. Harmsen, G. Cornelissen, M. Veggel, C.S. Haley, J.T.C. Grotenhuis, A.A. Koelmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Contaminated sediments can pose serious threats to human health and the environment by acting as a source of toxic chemicals. The amendment of contaminated sediments with strong sorbents like activated carbon (AC) is a rapidly developing strategy to manage contaminated sediments. To date, a great deal of attention has been paid to the technical and ecological features and implications of sediment remediation with AC, although science in this field still is rapidly evolving. The present paper aims to provide an update on the recent literature on these features, and for the first time provides a comparison of sediment remediation with AC to other sediment management options, emphasising their full-scale application. First, a qualitative overview of (dis)advantages of current alternatives to remediate contaminated sediments is presented. Subsequently, AC treatment technology is critically reviewed, including current understanding of the effectiveness and ecological safety for the use of AC in natural systems. Finally, this information is used to provide a novel framework for supporting decisions concerning sediment remediation and beneficial re-use. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-234
JournalIntegrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • polycyclic aromatic-hydrocarbons
  • hydrophobic organic-compounds
  • long-term recovery
  • polychaete neanthes-arenaceodentata
  • polychlorinated biphenyl sorption
  • contaminated marine sediment
  • environmental black carbon
  • hartwell superfund site
  • to-water fluxes

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