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Depth Profiling (ICP-MS) Study of Toxic Metal Buildup in Concrete Matrices: Potential Environmental Impact

  • Mirella Elkadi

    ()

    (Department of Chemistry, The Petroleum Institute, P.O. Box 2533, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

  • Avin Pillay

    ()

    (Department of Chemistry, The Petroleum Institute, P.O. Box 2533, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

  • Sai Cheong Fok

    ()

    (Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Petroleum Institute, P.O. Box 2533, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

  • Fadi Feghali

    ()

    (Al Husam Group, P.O. Box 2431, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

  • Ghada Bassioni

    ()

    (Department of Chemical Engineering, The Petroleum Institute, P.O. Box 2533, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    On leave from the Chemistry Department, Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.)

  • Sasi Stephen

    ()

    (Department of Chemistry, The Petroleum Institute, P.O. Box 2533, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Registered author(s):

    This paper explores the potential of concrete material to accumulate toxic trace elements using ablative laser technology (ICP-MS). Concrete existing in offshore structures submerged in seawater acts as a sink for hazardous metals, which could be gradually released into the ocean creating pollution and anoxic conditions for marine life. Ablative laser technology is a valuable tool for depth profiling concrete to evaluate the distribution of toxic metals and locate internal areas where such metals accumulate. Upon rapid degradation of concrete these “hotspots” could be suddenly released, thus posing a distinct threat to aquatic life. Our work simulated offshore drilling conditions by immersing concrete blocks in seawater and investigating accumulated toxic trace metals (As, Be, Cd, Hg, Os, Pb) in cored samples by laser ablation. The experimental results showed distinct inhomogeneity in metal distribution. The data suggest that conditions within the concrete structure are favorable for random metal accumulation at certain points. The exact mechanism for this behavior is not clear at this stage and has considerable scope for extended research including modeling and remedial studies.

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    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 10 (October)
    Pages: 3258-3269

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:10:p:3258-3269:d:9890
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