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J Hazard Mater. 2007 Sep 5;148(1-2):29-37. Epub 2007 Feb 6.

The use of 2D non-uniform electric field to enhance in situ bioremediation of 2,4-dichlorophenol-contaminated soil.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Haidian District, Beijing 100084, PR China.


In situ bioremediation is a safe and cost-effective technology for the cleanup of organic-contaminated soil, but its remediation rate is usually very slow, which results primarily from limited mass transfer of pollutants to the degrading bacteria in soil media. This study investigated the feasibility of adopting 2D non-uniform electric field to enhance in situ bioremediation process by promoting the mass transfer of organics to degrading bacteria under in situ conditions. For this purpose, a 2D non-uniform electrokinetic system was designed and tested at bench-scale with a sandy loam as the model soil and 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) as the model organic pollutant at two common operation modes (bidirectional and rotational). Periodically, the electric field reverses its direction at bidirectional mode and revolves a given angle at rotational mode. The results demonstrated that the non-uniform electric field could effectively stimulate the desorption and the movement of 2,4-DCP in the soil. The 2,4-DCP was mobilized through soil media towards the anode at a rate of about 1.0 cmd(-1)V(-1). The results also showed that in situ biodegradation of 2,4-DCP in the soil was greatly enhanced by the applied 2D electric field upon operational mode. At the bidirectional mode, an average 2,4-DCP removal of 73.4% was achieved in 15 days, and the in situ biodegradation of 2,4-DCP was increased by about three times as compared with that uncoupled with electric field, whereas, 34.8% of 2,4-DCP was removed on average in the same time period at the rotational mode. In terms of maintaining remediation uniformity in soil, the rotational operation remarkably excelled the bidirectional operation. In the hexagonal treatment area, the 2,4-DCP removal efficiency adversely increase with the distance to the central electrode at the bidirectional mode, while the rotational mode generated almost uniform removal in soil bed.

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