Low Permeability Zone Remediation via Oxidant Delivered by Electrokinetics and Activated by Electrical Resistance Heating: Proof of Concept

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Western University, 1151 Richmond Street, London, Ontario N6A 5B9, Canada
Geosyntec Consultants, 130 Stone Road W., Guelph, Ontario N1G 3Z2, Canada
§ School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Connected Water Initiative, University of New South Wales, Manly Vale, New South Wales 2093, Australia
*D. M. O’Carroll. Email: [email protected]; Tel: +61 2 8071 9800; Fax: +61 2 9949 4188.
Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. 2017, 51, 22, 13295–13303
Publication Date (Web):November 1, 2017
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b02231
Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

This study proposes and proves (in concept) a novel approach of combining electrokinetic (EK)-assisted delivery of an oxidant, persulfate (PS), and low temperature electrical resistivity heating (ERH), to activate PS, to achieve remediation of contaminated, low permeability soil. This unique combination is able to overcome existing challenges in remediating low permeability materials, particularly associated with delivering remediants. A further benefit of the approach is the use of the same electrodes for both EK and ERH phases. Experiments were conducted in a laboratory-scale sand tank packed with silt and aqueous tetrachloroethene (PCE) and bracketed on each side by an electrode. EK first delivered unactivated PS throughout the silt. ERH then generated and sustained the target temperature to activate the PS. As a result, PCE concentrations decreased to below detection limit in the silt in a few weeks. Moreover, it was found that activating PS at ∼36 °C eliminated more PCE than activating it at >41 °C. It is expected this results from the reactive SO4•– radical being generated more slowly, which ensures more complete reaction with the contaminant. The novel application of EK-assisted PS delivery followed by low temperature ERH appears to be a viable strategy for low permeability contaminated soil remediation.

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