Separation and Purification Technology, Vol.79, No.2, 170-176, 2011
Electrolyte conditioning for electrokinetic remediation of As, Cu, and Pb-contaminated soil
We carried out electrokinetic remediation with electrolyte conditioning and pretreatment using acidic and basic solutions to remediate Cu-, As-, and Pb-contaminated soil on a laboratory scale. Under given conditions the soil pH was made more acidic or more basic, and the pH change influenced the strength of the binding of metals and metalloids onto the soil surface. Catholyte conditioning using an acidic solution increased the removal of Cu and Pb from the soil, and the maximum removal was 60.1% for Cu and 75.1% for Pb. Anolyte conditioning using a basic solution enhanced the transport of arsenic (As), which exists in an anionic form. Even though most of the As was strongly bound to the soil matrix in a residual form (>= 95%), 43.1% was removed by electrokinetics under anolyte conditioning with a basic solution. Simultaneous removal was attempted via a change in the purging solution. However, blocking phenomena occurred because of the sudden pH change of the electrolyte from acidic to basic, and the electrokinetic transport of the ionic species was interrupted in the soil compartment. Thus, catholyte or anolyte conditioning removed cationic or anionic metals from the soil, but the simultaneous removal of both was not achieved, and a sudden change in the conditioning solution caused precipitation of metal hydroxides and blocking of the pores. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.