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Capillary Channels with Electroosmotic Flows: Role of Fundamental Forces In Promoting Flow Reversal

Karina Merino1, Mario Oyanader2, and Pedro E. Arce2. (1) Chemical Engineering, University Catolica del Norte, Avda Angamos 0610, Antofagasta, Chile, (2) Chemical Engineering, Tennessee Technological University, Department of Chemical Engineering, P.O. Box 5013, Cookeville, TN 38505

Soil clean up applications by electrokinetic process have demonstrated to be suitable for heavy metal removal in sites of difficult access as an in situ technique. The effect of different driving parameters has been identified and reported in the literature as an effort to unveil the optimal conditions of removal. Among others, pH profile variations along the treatment zone have been linked as an important parameter to process efficiency. Studies have indicated that under certain condition axial flow reversals occurs affecting contaminant removal. Validating this assumption is important as well as identifying the implicated results. In this study a particulate movement is simulated for different case scenarios. The primary mechanisms considered in the approach are electroosmosis and drag forces. The theoretical analysis has been closely monitored and compared with laboratory results. Meaningful illustrative results are presented along with the most relevant conclusions. The idea behind the study is to explain the experimental results via theoretical modeling and simulation.