The effect of soil type on the electrodialytic remediation of lead-contaminated soil

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This work investigates the influence of soil type on electrodialytic remediation (EDR) of lead (Pb). It is well-known in electrokinetic soil remediation that pH is a key factor, and carbonate influences remediation efficiency negatively. This work provides results from laboratory scale EDR experiments with ten representative industrially Pb-contaminated surface soils. Results indicate that Pb-speciation is of primary importance. Specifically, organic matter and stable compounds like PbCrO4 can impede and possibly even preclude soil remediation. In soils rich in carbonate, where the acidic front is impeded, part of the Pb can be transferred from the soil to the anolyte as negatively charged complexes during the EDR process. The dominant complex is in this case likely to be Pb(CO3)22-. Efficient remediation is however not obtained until all carbonate has dissolved and Pb2+ is transported to the catholyte. Thus, the presence of carbonate negatively influences the remediation time. Pb bound to soluble organic matter is also transported towards the anolyte during EDR. The primary effect of the mainly insoluble organic matter commonly present in surface soil is however to immobilize Pb and impede remediation. Overall, the potential for EDR remediation of fine grained, inorganic soils is found to be feasible when the Pb is not associated with extremely stable compounds.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Engineering Science
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)234-244
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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