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J Hazard Mater. 2005 May 20;121(1-3):187-94.

The use of non-uniform electrokinetics to enhance in situ bioremediation of phenol-contaminated soil.

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Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, PR China.


In situ bioremediation is an attractive and often cost-effective technology for the cleanup of organics-contaminated sites, but it often requires extended treatment time under field conditions. This study explored the feasibility of using non-uniform electrokinetic transport processes to enhance in situ bioremediation. A bench-scale non-uniform electrokinetic system with periodic polarity-reversal was developed for this purpose, and tested by using a sandy loam spiked with phenol as a model organic pollutant. The results demonstrated that non-uniform electrokinetic processes could accelerate the movement and in situ biodegradation of phenol in the soil. Bidirectional operation enhanced the phenol biodegradation more effectively than unidirectional operation. At the same time, a smaller polarity-reversing interval induced a higher and more uniform removal of phenol from the soil. The results also showed that reversing the polarity of electric field applied could maintain the soil pH and moisture, but it increased the consumption of electricity.

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