Remediation of Pb/Cr co-contaminated soil using electrokinetic process and approaching electrode technique

Yee-Sern Ng, Bhaskar Sen Gupta, MA Hashim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Electrokinetic process has emerged as an important tool for remediating heavy metal-contaminated soil. The process can concentrate heavy metals into smaller soil volume even in the absence of hydraulic flow. This makes it an attractive soil pre-treatment method before other remediation techniques are applied such that the chemical consumption in the latter stage can be reduced. The present study evaluates the feasibility of electrokinetic process in concentrating lead (Pb) and chromium (Cr) in a co-contaminated soil using different types of wetting agents, namely 0.01 M NaNO3, 0.1 M citric acid and 0.1 M EDTA. The data obtained showed that NaNO3 and citric acid resulted in poor Pb electromigration in this study. As for Cr migration, these agents were also found to give lower electromigration rate especially at low pH region as a result of Cr(VI) adsorption and possible reduction into Cr(III). In contrast, EDTA emerged as the best wetting agent in this study as it formed water-soluble anionic complexes with both Pb and Cr. This provided effective one-way electromigration towards the anode for both ions, and they were accumulated into smaller soil volume with an enrichment ratio of 1.55–1.82. A further study on the application of approaching cathode in EDTA test showed that soil alkalisation was achieved, but this did not provide significant enhancement on electromigration for Pb and Cr. Nevertheless, the power consumption for electrokinetic process was decreased by 22.5 %.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-555
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number1
Early online date2 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • Electrokinetic soil remediation
  • EDTA
  • Lead
  • Chromium
  • Approaching cathode


Dive into the research topics of 'Remediation of Pb/Cr co-contaminated soil using electrokinetic process and approaching electrode technique'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this