Oral Presentation Australasian Groundwater Conference 2017

Use of electrokinetics for enhanced contaminant site remediation (305)

Denis O'Carroll 1 , Jason Gerhard 2 , Ahmed Chowdhury 2 , Ariel Nunez Garcia 2 , Nicholas Head 2 , Ainsley Inglis 2
  1. UNSW, Manly Vale, NSW, Australia
  2. University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada

A range of innovative contaminated site remediation technologies have been developed and implemented, including reduction and oxidation based processes.  However, achievement of remediation goals at many contaminated sites is still difficult achieve due to challenges associated with delivering amendments uniformly throughout contaminated zones, including low permeability media.  The goal of this study was to evaluate the extent to which electrokinetics of amendments could uniformly distribute amendments in clay at a contaminated site.  Electrokinetics is uniquely suited to uniformly distribute amendments in impermeable media, such as clay.  The study included five distinct transects:

  • Electrokinetics + an oxidant (i.e., persulfate)
  • Electrokinetics + nanometals
  • Electrokinetics + lactate
  • Electrokinetics with no amendment
  • Control

This design enabled an assessment of the ability of electrokinetics to enhance the transport of amendments.  Electrokinetics can induce amendment transport due to electromigration of dissolved constituents (e.g., oxidant and lactate), electrophoresis of charged particles (e.g., nanometals) or electroosmosis (i.e., transport of the bulk water phase).  The extent to which these mechanisms transport amendments in the field will be discussed.  This study provides crucial information needed for the design of uniform amendment delivery at contaminated sites for subsequent contaminant degradation.

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