To assess the effect of pore water chemistry on the contaminant removal rate, we monitored major ion concentrations in the pore water and the electrical potential distribution of a soil during electrokinetic remediation treatment. On application of the voltage, the soil near the anode became acidic due to the electrolytic generation of H+, and the acid region gradually spread toward the cathode. The major cation in the acid region was, however, not H+ but Al3+ that arose from the acid-induced dissolution of soil minerals, and it migrated very slowly toward the cathode. The measured pH and accompanying ion concentrations indicated that the anomalously slow migration of Al3+ was due to its precipitation - dissolution reaction at the acid front. The stagnancy of Al3+ increased the ionic concentration, flattened the electrical potential profile, and in turn, diminished electromigration in the acid region. This seems to be one of the causes of the relatively low removal rate of cationic and anionic contaminants in electrokinetic treatments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry