Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.353, 227-235, 2018
Effect of various electrokinetic treatment regimes on solids surface properties and thermal behavior of oil sediments
The electrokinetic process has shown its ability to separate the different material phases. However, not much is known about the effect of the electric fields on the surface properties of solids in the oil sediments and their behavior under different electrical regimes. In this study, the effect of four different types of electrical current on the surface properties of oil sediments was investigated, namely constant direct current (CDC), pulsed direct current (PDC), incremental direct current (IDC) and decremental direct current (DDC). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses showed a decrease in the concentration of carbon from 99% in centrifuged samples to 63% on the surface of the solids in the PDC-treated oil sediment. Wettability alteration and contact angle studies showed an enhance in hydrophilicity of the solids following electrokinetic treatment. A significant change in carbon and oxygen-containing functionalities at the surface solids of the DDC-treated sediment was also observed. Thermogravimetric analyses (TGA) confirmed the ability of electrokinetic treatment in separating the phases by shifting the thermogram profiles towards lower temperatures. The findings showed that the electrokinetic process exerts its effect by altering the surface properties of the sediment solids and destabilizing water-in-oil emulsions to facilitate phase separation of this complex waste.