Electrokinetic-Enhanced (EK-Enhanced) amendment delivery can greatly broaden the application of in situ remediation technologies by overcoming potential limitation of delivery of amendment in low-permeable environments. EK amendment delivery can be used in combination with permeable reactive barriers, bioremediation and in-situ chemical oxidation/reduction. EK-enhancements can be designed to help improve delivery and distribution of treatment fluids or nutrients and is the only proven in situ alternative to thermal remediation technologies for treating contaminants bound up in low permeability matrices where hydraulic delivery approaches (such as injection or recirculation) fail.
How EK-Enhanced Remediation Works
EK provides a unique delivery mechanism for the enhancement of delivery of remediation amendments. EK amendment delivery is related to the soil’s electrical properties and is enhanced by applying an electric direct current (DC) field to a heterogeneous subsurface soil which enables:
- Transport of ions by electromigration,
- Movement of groundwater by electroosmosis, and
- Movement of charged particle by electrophoresis
For the successful application of EK-remediation approaches, it is important to control the pH and redox changes caused by water electrolysis to ensure the steady transport and uniform distribution of the electric field. If carefully designed, this process can be highly efficient in clay-rich strata and result in the migration of ions and dissolved compounds at a rate of several meters a month in tight clays.
SiREM’s EK-Enhanced Remediation Treatability Advantages
- Perform laboratory experiments directly on the site material
- Fine tune the EK delivery properties to optimize voltage gradients, ion electromigration and electroosmotic flow
- Determine which amendments can be delivered effectively and monitor their performance prior to field implementation
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