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

View Author Information
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
Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society
Article Views
Read OnlinePDF (6 MB)
Supporting Info (1)»


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.

Supporting Information

Jump To

The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b02231.

  • Calculation of activation energy, electroosmotic flux, temperature maps and additional constituent concentration data (PDF)

Terms & Conditions

Most electronic Supporting Information files are available without a subscription to ACS Web Editions. Such files may be downloaded by article for research use (if there is a public use license linked to the relevant article, that license may permit other uses). Permission may be obtained from ACS for other uses through requests via the RightsLink permission system: http://pubs.acs.org/page/copyright/permissions.html.

Cited By

This article is cited by 29 publications.

  1. Riccardo Sprocati, Andrea Gallo, Rajandrea Sethi, Massimo Rolle. Electrokinetic Delivery of Reactants: Pore Water Chemistry Controls Transport, Mixing, and Degradation. Environmental Science & Technology 2021, 55 (1) , 719-729. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c06054
  2. Dongdong Wen, Xiaopin Guo, Qian Li, Rongbing Fu. Enhanced electrokinetically-delivered persulfate and alternating electric field induced thermal effect activated persulfate in situ for remediation of phenanthrene contaminated clay. Journal of Hazardous Materials 2022, 423 , 127199. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.127199
  3. Huabin Zeng, Huachun Lan, Xiaoqiang An, Eveliina Repo, Yuri Park, Olga Pastushok, Huijuan Liu, Jiuhui Qu. Insight into electroreductive activation process of peroxydisulfate for eliminating organic pollution: Essential role of atomic hydrogen. Chemical Engineering Journal 2021, 426 , 128355. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2020.128355
  4. Massimo Rolle, Marina Albrecht, Riccardo Sprocati. Impact of solute charge and diffusion coefficient on electromigration and mixing in porous media. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 2021, 27 , 103933. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconhyd.2021.103933
  5. L. Earnden, T. Laredo, A. G. Marangoni, E. Pensini. Fenton’s degradation of toluene using chelating and emulsifying surfactants. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology 2021, 399 https://doi.org/10.1007/s13762-021-03708-1
  6. Long Cang, Qiao Huang, Hongting Xu, Mingzhu Zhou. The Integration of Electrokinetics and In Situ Chemical Oxidation Processes for the Remediation of Organically Polluted Soils. 2021,,, 479-503. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119670186.ch20
  7. Bente H. Hyldegaard, Lisbeth M. Ottosen. Electrokinetic and Electrochemical Removal of Chlorinated Ethenes: Application in Low‐ and High‐Permeability Saturated Soils. 2021,,, 503-540. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119670186.ch21
  8. Ainsley M. Inglis, Nicholas A. Head, Ahmed I.A. Chowdhury, Ariel Nunez Garcia, David A. Reynolds, Dave Hogberg, Elizabeth Edwards, Line Lomheim, Kela Weber, Sarah J. Wallace, Leanne M. Austrins, Jennifer Hayman, Marlaina Auger, Audrey Sidebottom, Jake Eimers, Jason I. Gerhard, Denis M. O'Carroll. Electrokinetically-enhanced emplacement of lactate in a chlorinated solvent contaminated clay site to promote bioremediation. Water Research 2021, 201 , 117305. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2021.117305
  9. Zhuning Geng, Bo Liu, Guanghe Li, Fang Zhang. Enhancing DNAPL removal from low permeability zone using electrical resistance heating with pulsed direct current. Journal of Hazardous Materials 2021, 413 , 125455. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125455
  10. Ziyu Han, Shaohua Li, Yong Yue, Yao Tian, Shiyu Wang, Zhirui Qin, Longjie Ji, Denglun Han, Wentao Jiao. Enhancing remediation of PAH-contaminated soil through coupling electrical resistance heating using Na2S2O8. Environmental Research 2021, 198 , 110457. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.110457
  11. Tatianna Marshall, Athanasios Paschos, Alejandro G. Marangoni, Fan Yang, Erica Pensini. Injectable cationic traps and sticky bacterial emulsifiers: A safe alliance during diesel bioremediation. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 2021, 613 , 126051. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfa.2020.126051
  12. Michael C. Brooks, Eunice Yarney, Junqi Huang. Strategies for Managing Risk due to Back Diffusion. Groundwater Monitoring & Remediation 2021, 41 (1) , 76-98. https://doi.org/10.1111/gwmr.12423
  13. Sonia Lanzalaco, Ignasi Sirés. Electrochemically Assisted Thermal-Based Technologies for Soil Remediation. 2021,,, 369-400. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-68140-1_15
  14. Tatianna Marshall, Alejandro G. Marangoni, Thamara Laredo, Klaudine M. Estepa, Maria G. Corradini, Loong-Tak Lim, Erica Pensini. Laccase-zein interactions at the air-water interface: Reactors on an air bubble and naphthalene removal from water. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 2020, 607 , 125518. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfa.2020.125518
  15. Tatianna Marshall, Klaudine M. Estepa, Maria Corradini, Alejandro G. Marangoni, Brent Sleep, Erica Pensini. Selective solvent filters for non-aqueous phase liquid separation from water. Scientific Reports 2020, 10 (1) https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-68920-4
  16. Meng Zhang, Cong Lu, Wei Zhang, Kuangfei Lin, Kai Huang. Desorbing of decabromodiphenyl ether in low permeability soil and the remediation potential of enhanced electrokinetic. Chemosphere 2020, 258 , 127376. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.127376
  17. Klaudine Monica O. Estepa, Kristine Lamont, Srdjan Malicevic, Athanasios Paschos, Louis Colaruotolo, Maria Corradini, Alejandro G. Marangoni, Loong-Tak Lim, Erica Pensini. Chitosan-Based biogels: A potential approach to trap and bioremediate naphthalene. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 2020, 605 , 125374. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfa.2020.125374
  18. Riccardo Sprocati, John Flyvbjerg, Nina Tuxen, Massimo Rolle. Process-based modeling of electrokinetic-enhanced bioremediation of chlorinated ethenes. Journal of Hazardous Materials 2020, 397 , 122787. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.122787
  19. Nicholas A. Head, Jason I. Gerhard, Ainsley M. Inglis, Ariel Nunez Garcia, Ahmed I.A. Chowdhury, David A. Reynolds, Cjestmir V. de Boer, Audrey Sidebottom, Leanne M. Austrins, Jake Eimers, Denis M. O’Carroll. Field test of electrokinetically-delivered thermally activated persulfate for remediation of chlorinated solvents in clay. Water Research 2020, 183 , 116061. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2020.116061
  20. Huabin Zeng, Xu Zhao, Feiping Zhao, Yuri Park, Eveliina Repo, Senthil K. Thangaraj, Janne Jänis, Mika Sillanpää. Oxidation of 2,4-dichlorophenol in saline water by unactivated peroxymonosulfate: Mechanism, kinetics and implication for in situ chemical oxidation. Science of The Total Environment 2020, 728 , 138826. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138826
  21. Bo Liu, Guanghe Li, Kevin G. Mumford, Bernard H. Kueper, Fang Zhang. Low permeability zone remediation of trichloroethene via coupling electrokinetic migration with in situ electrochemical hydrodechlorination. Chemosphere 2020, 250 , 126209. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.126209
  22. Junjie Li, Li Wang, Libin Peng, Yirong Deng, Dayi Deng. A combo system consisting of simultaneous persulfate recirculation and alternating current electrical resistance heating for the implementation of heat activated persulfate ISCO. Chemical Engineering Journal 2020, 385 , 123803. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2019.123803
  23. Kristine Lamont, Alejandro G. Marangoni, Erica Pensini. ‘Emulsion locks’ for the containment of hydrocarbons during surfactant flushing. Journal of Environmental Sciences 2020, 90 , 98-109. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jes.2019.11.021
  24. Kristine Lamont, Erica Pensini, Alejandro G. Marangoni. Gelation on demand using switchable double emulsions: A potential strategy for the in situ immobilization of organic contaminants. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2020, 562 , 470-482. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2019.11.090
  25. Riccardo Sprocati, Massimo Rolle. Charge interactions, reaction kinetics and dimensionality effects on electrokinetic remediation: A model-based analysis. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 2020, 229 , 103567. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconhyd.2019.103567
  26. Tao Huang, Longfei Liu, Shilu Wu, Shuwen Zhang. Research on a closed-loop method that enhances the electrokinetic removal of heavy metals from municipal solid waste incineration fly ashes. Chemical Papers 2019, 73 (12) , 3053-3065. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-019-00849-z
  27. Lisbeth M. Ottosen, Thomas H. Larsen, Pernille E. Jensen, Gunvor M. Kirkelund, Henriette Kerrn-Jespersen, Nina Tuxen, Bente H. Hyldegaard. Electrokinetics applied in remediation of subsurface soil contaminated with chlorinated ethenes – A review. Chemosphere 2019, 235 , 113-125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.06.075
  28. Riccardo Sprocati, Matteo Masi, Muhammad Muniruzzaman, Massimo Rolle. Modeling electrokinetic transport and biogeochemical reactions in porous media: A multidimensional Nernst–Planck–Poisson approach with PHREEQC coupling. Advances in Water Resources 2019, 127 , 134-147. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2019.03.011
  29. Tao Huang, Longfei Liu, Shuwen Zhang, Jiaojiao Xu. Evaluation of electrokinetics coupled with a reactive barrier of activated carbon loaded with a nanoscale zero-valent iron for selenite removal from contaminated soils. Journal of Hazardous Materials 2019, 368 , 104-114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2019.01.036