Acidification of Harbour sediment and removal of heavy metals induced by water splitting in electrodialytic remediation.

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Abstract

Harbor sediments are often contaminated with heavy metals, which can be removed by electrodialytic remediation. Water splitting at the anion exchange membrane in contact with the contaminated material in electrodialytic remediation is highly important for the removal of heavy metals. Here it was investigated how acidification caused by water splitting at the anion exchange membrane during electrodialytic remediation of contaminated harbor sediment and hence the metal removal, was influenced by different experimental conditions. Two different experimental cells were tested, where the number of compartments and ion exchange membranes differed. Totally, 14 electrodialytic experiments were made, with varying remediation time, current densities, and liquid to solid ratio (L/S). pH in the sediment decreased slightly after 1 day of remediation, even if the sediment had a high buffering capacity, suggesting that water splitting at the anion exchange membrane started early in the remediation process. An increase in the voltage over the cell and a decrease in the electrical conductivity in the sediment suspension also indicated that the water splitting started within 1 day of remediation. When the sediment was acidified, the voltage decreased and electrical conductivity increased. After 5 days of remediation the sediment was acidified at the chosen current density (1 mA/cm(2)) and the main metal removal was observed shortly after. Thus it was crucial for the metal removal that the sediment was fully acidified. Lower metal removal was seen in an experimental cell with three compartments compared to five compartments, due to increased sensitivity of pH changes in the cell.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSeparation Science and Technology
Volume40
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)2245-2264
ISSN0149-6395
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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