Effects of Electric Current and Potential on the Electrokinetic Removal of Heavy Metals from an Abandoned Mine Tailings

Shin, Hyun-Moo;Lee, Chang-Eun

  • Published : 2004.02.01


In the removal of heavy metals from the mine deposit using electrokinetic processes, the effects of operation under both constant current and constant potential conditions were estimated. The results of soil pH distributions for DDW-20 V and DDW-100 mA cases after the electrokinetic remediation tests were observed. In the former case, soil pH was not much changed and kept to almost constant value just little higher than initial soil pH of 3.52, except near the cathode, which was about pH 5. While in the latter case, soil pHs of anode and the cathode regions were less than pH 3 and about 6, respectively. The electroosmotic flow to the cathode increased rapidly till 10 hrs and decreased steadily and then maintained to constant rate until the end of operation at constant current condition. Electric potential gradient was continuously increased to as much as 34.375 V/cm. At the steady state, values of the apparent electric conductivity for DDW-20 V and DDW-100 mA were around 40 ${\mu}\textrm{s}$/cm and 30 ${\mu}\textrm{s}$/cm, respectively. In the DDW-100mA test, Cu, Cd, and Zn except Pb showed the tendency of moving toward the cathode. While in the DDW-20 V case, it was observed that Cu, Zn, and Pb except Cd were not moved to any directions. The results of the tests demonstrated that the electrokinetic soil remediation process could be operated better under constant current condition than constant electric potential condition.


Electrokinetics;Electric current;Electric potential;Electroosmosis;Mine tailings;Heavy metal


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