Analysis of metal ions migration to determine electro-osmotic flow for the in-situ cleanup of a tar-contaminated site

Ana T. Lima, Paulo C. Rodrigues, J.P. Gustav Loch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


An electro-osmosis experiment was set up on a former asphalt factory site, which is currently contaminated by tar, in Olst, the Netherlands. The main goal of this experiment was to remove polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from a contaminated clay layer by applying an electric gradient. But before calculating PAH removal, the direction and intensity of electro-osmosis have to be estimated. In field situations, tracers are used to get information about the water flow. In the present study, the inorganic elements concentration oscillations during electro-osmosis application are used as tracers. The experiment was set up in a clay layer, with the configuration 1m×1m×0.3m, at a depth of 4m below soil surface. Al, Ca, Cl, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, P, S, Si, Ti and Zn concentrations were determined in 28 measurements and were performed during the experimental period of 159days. Then they were used in a first evaluation where auto and cross-correlations were analyzed to aid in the geochemical interpretation and select the most conservative elements. The second part of this study is devoted to estimate the migration of water based on the concentrations development of Cl - at the anode and Na + at the cathode. Electro-osmotic flow was estimated to be intense (2.9 -10 -9-2.18 -10 -8m -s -1) during the first 10 to 50days of experiment and to cease after this period. © 2012.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUK-C1-017-12
Acknowledgements: Frank Volkering from TAUW is kindly acknowledged for providing the access to the contaminated site. This publication was based on work supported by Award No KUK-C1-017-12, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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