Electrokinetic generation of reactive iron-rich barriers in wet sediments: implications for contaminated land management

Faulkner, D.W.S., Hopkinson, L. and Cundy, A.B. (2005) Electrokinetic generation of reactive iron-rich barriers in wet sediments: implications for contaminated land management Mineralogical Magazine, 69 (5). pp. 749-757. ISSN 0026-461X

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Abstract

Here we describe preliminary research into the in situ electrokinetic generation of continuous iron-rich precipitates to act as sub-surface barriers for the containment of contaminated sites. This is achieved using sacrificial iron electrodes emplaced either side of a soil/sediment mass to introduce iron into the system, and their dissolution and re-precipitation under the influence of an applied (DC) electric field. Continuous vertical and horizontal iron-rich bands (up to 2 cm thick) have been generated over a timescale of 300–500 h, at voltages of <5 V with an electrode separation of between 15 and 30 cm. The thickness of the iron-rich band increases as the applied voltage is increased. Geotechnical tests in sand indicate that the iron-rich band produced is practically impervious (coefficient of permeability of 10−9 ms−1 or less), and has significant mechanical strength (unconfined compressive strength of 10.8 N mm−2). By monitoring the current, the integrity of the iron-rich band may be assessed, and by continued application of current, the barrier may ‘self heal’. The iron-rich barrier is composed of amorphous iron, goethite, lepidocrocite, maghemite and native iron.

Item Type:Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Electrokinetics; Horizontal barriers; Iron; Contaminated land
Subjects:F000 Physical Sciences > F800 Physical Geography and Environmental Sciences > F850 Environmental Sciences
DOI (a stable link to the resource):10.1180/0026461056950285
Faculties:Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Environment and Technology > Applied Geosciences
Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Environment and Technology > Ecology, Landscape and Pollution Management
Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Environment and Technology
ID Code:1243
Deposited By:editor environment
Deposited On:23 Nov 2006
Last Modified:01 May 2012 16:29

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