An extensive body of literature is available on the chemistry of listed inorganic wastes, although most of it is oriented toward near-surface environments. For example, Forstner and Wittmann107 present a good overview of the aqueous geochemistry of metal contaminants, and the various reports of the National Research Council of Canada provide summaries of the geochemistry of individual metals. Fuller105 contains over 200 citations on the movement of metals in soil, and Moore and Ramamoorthy108 devote individual chapters to the chemistry of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Hg, Ni, and Zn in natural waters. One source that does discuss the chemistry of listed wastes in the deep-well environment is Strycker and Collins.109 The information on listed inorganic wastes is summarized in Table 20.16.
20.5.3 Chemical Properties of Organic Hazardous Wastes
Because carbon atoms can form strong bonds with one another while combining with other elements, the number of organic compounds is enormous. More than two million such compounds have been described and characterized,3 which is more than ten times the total number of known compounds of all other elements except hydrogen.
FIGURE 20.6 Distribution of molecular and ionic species of divalent lead at different pH values. (From U.S. EPA, Assessing the Geochemical Fate of Deep-Well-Injected Hazardous Waste: A Reference Guide, EPA/625/6-89/025a, U.S. EPA, Cincinnati, OH, June 1990.)
Organic compounds can be broadly grouped into hydrocarbons (compounds formed from only carbon and hydrogen atoms) and their derivatives, in which a hydrogen atom is replaced with another atom or group of atoms, such as a functional group (e.g., an atom or atom group that imparts characteristic chemical properties to the organic molecules containing it). Structurally, organic compounds can also be classified as straight-chain compounds, branched-chain compounds, and cyclic compounds. Another classification of organic compounds divides these compounds between aromatics (those with a six-member ring structure in which single and double carbon bonds alternate) and aliphatics (those containing chains or nonaromatic rings of carbon atoms). There are seven major groups of hazardous organics:
1. Halogenated aliphatic hydrocarbons
2. Halogenated ethers
3. Monocyclic aromatics
4. Phthalate esters
5. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
6. Nitrogenous compounds
FIGURE 20.7 Distribution of molecular and ionic species of divalent mercury at different pH values. (From U.S. EPA, Assessing the Geochemical Fate of Deep-Well-Injected Hazardous Waste: A Reference Guide, EPA/625/6-89/025a, U.S. EPA, Cincinnati, OH, June 1990.)
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