A review on enhancement techniques of electrokinetic soil remediation

Document Type : Review Paper


Department of Mining, Faculty of Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, 14115-143 Tehran, Iran


During the last decade, the expansion of urbanization and industrial activities caused serious environmental problems such as soil pollution. Novel technologies are required to remediate soil contamination with toxic contaminants, including heavy metals and organic pollutants. In recent years, there have been increasing attempts to improve soil remediation efficiency. Electrokinetic (EK) is an emerging remediation technology for mixed contaminants, especially in low hydraulic conductivity soils. During EK remediation process, an electric field is applied to the specimen to remove the contaminants from soil by means of electro-osmotic (EO), electro-migration (EM), and electrophoresis (EP) processes. The usual EK technique may have no suitable removal efficiency or contaminants migration. Thus, enhancement techniques or their combination with other technologies are required to overcome EK limitations, increasing its efficiency. The present study reviews seven main enhancement techniques combined with EK; they include using surfactant, chelants, complexing agents, soil pH control, bioremediation, permeable reactive barriers, and ultrasonication. It should be mentioned that, selecting the suitable combination technique highly depends on the soil type and the kind of contaminant.


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