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Assessment of Buoyancy Effect on Ek Removal Efficiency and Its Implication for in-Situ Applications

Cynthia Torres1, Loretto Araya-Vicentelo1, Mario A. Oyanader2, and Pedro E. Arce3. (1) Chemical Engineering, University Catolica del Norte, Avda Angamos 0610, Antofagasta, Chile, (2) Universidad Catolica del Norte, Avenida Angamos, Antofagasta, 0610, Chile, (3) Department of Chemical Engineering, Tennessee Tech University, Prescott Hall Room 214, Cookeville, TN 38505

EK soil remediation has been identified as a versatile technology that can be applied to removing heavy metal as well as hydrocarbons from contaminated soils. Although temperature development on the soil matrix has been observed, no systematic effort has been performed to understand how temperature rising may trigger mechanisms that may be used to overcome possible soil remediation pitfalls. This contribution focuses on performing experiments with EK processes in samples of a low permeable contaminated soil. Kaolin based soil media previously spiked with different well known contaminants was used in the experimental runs. The electrodes, along with the EK cell, were placed at 0 and at 45 inclined positions to verify the influence of buoyancy on the electroosmotic flow and therefore on efficiency of removal. A statistical analysis has been performed on the data to determine the potential effect of buoyancy driven flows on the overall removal efficiency of contaminants. Comprehensive details of key factors are highlighted to promote understanding of the different parameters as well as their implication to in situ implementation.