Assessing PAH removal from clayey soil by means of electro-osmosis and electrodialysis

Ana T. Lima, Lisbeth M. Ottosen, Katja Heister, J.P. Gustav Loch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are persistent and toxic contaminants which are difficult to remove from fine porous material like clayey soils. The present work aims at studying two electroremediation techniques for the removal of PAHs from a spiked natural silt soil from Saudi Arabia and a silty loam soil from The Netherlands which has been exposed to tar contamination for over 100. years. The two techniques at focus are electro-osmosis and electrodialysis. The latter is applied for the first time for the removal of PAH. The efficiency of the techniques is studied using these two soils, having been subjected to different PAH contact times. Two surfactants were used: the non-ionic surfactant Tween 80 and anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) to aid desorption of PAHs from the soil. Results show a large discrepancy in the removal rates between spiked soil and long-term field contaminated soil, as expected. In spiked soil, electro-osmosis achieves up to 85% while electrodialysis accomplishes 68% PAH removal. In field contaminated soil, electro-osmosis results in 35% PAH removal whereas electrodialysis results in 79%. Short recommendations are derived for the up-scale of the two techniques. © 2012.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalScience of The Total Environment
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUK-C1-017-12
Acknowledgements: We thank Bärbel Agres (Technische Universität München) for the PAH analysis. Frank Volkering from TAUW B.V., Deventer, The Netherlands is kindly acknowledged for providing the sample material and information about 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.


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing PAH removal from clayey soil by means of electro-osmosis and electrodialysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this