Contamination of soils with organic pollutants is an increasing global problem, so novel soil remediation techniques are urgently needed. One such technique is electrokinetic remediation, in which an electric field is applied over the soil to extract contaminants. Previous evaluations of the technique have been limited to a few specific compounds. In this study, we integrated the latest advances in high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) to identify molecular fingerprints, and used the results to improve the mechanistic understanding necessary for successful remediation. A laboratory-scale 0.38 mA cm-2 electrodialytic treatment was applied for 21 days to a contaminated soil from a firefighter training facility in Sweden. Non-target analysis allowed generic evaluation of changes in the soil organic fraction by tentatively determining the elemental composition of compounds present. The results showed that smaller oxygen-rich molecules were significantly transported to the anode by electromigration, while larger hydrogen-saturated molecules were transported to the cathode by electroosmotic flow. Wide suspect screening with >3000 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) tentatively identified seven new PFASs in the test soil, including perfluoroheptanesulfonic acid (PFHpS), and PFASs with butoxy, ethoxy, ethanol, and ethylcyclohexanesulfonate functional groups.
- High resolution mass spectroscopy
- Non-target screening
- Per fluoroheptanesulfonic acid
- Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances
- Soil remediation