American Society of Civil Engineers

Phenol Removal from Kaolinite by Electrokinetics

by Yalcin B. Acar, M.ASCE, (Prof., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, LA 70803), Heyi Li, (Grad. Res. Asst., Dept. of Chem., Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, LA), and Robert J. Gale, (Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Chem., Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, LA)

Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Vol. 118, No. 11, November 1992, pp. 1837-1852, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Electro-osmosis tests are conducted on saturated kaolinite specimens loaded with phenol at a level of 500 μg/g of dry kaolinite. This amount was below the phenol adsorption capacity of this mineral. The flow behavior and the electrochemistry (voltage, current, resistance, pH gradients, and conductivity) in these experiments are presented. Electroosomotic flow with open electrodes is time-dependent. Acid front generated at the anode sweeps across the specimen, neutralizing the base at the cathode. The adsorbed phenol was removed by 85%–95% by the process. Phenol concentration profile in the effluent did not display any retardation due to desorption. The energy expenditure for removal was of the order of 18–39kWh/m³ of soil processed. The study displays that it may be feasible to remove low-concentration organic contaminants from cohesive soils by application of a direct current.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Abatement and removal
Electric power
Electrical conductivity