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Chemosphere
Vol. 107, 2014; Page: 31 - 42

Electrokinetic-enhanced bioremediation of organic contaminants: A review of processes and environmental applications

R.T. Gill, M.J. Harbottle, J.W.N. Smith, S.F. Thornton

Groundwater Protection and Restoration Group, University of Sheffield, Department of Civil & Structural Engineering, Kroto Research Institute, Broad Lane, Sheffield S3 7HQ, UK.

Abstract

There is current interest in finding sustainable remediation technologies for the removal of contaminants from soil and groundwater. This review focuses on the combination of electrokinetics, the use of an electric potential to move organic and inorganic compounds, or charged particles/organisms in the subsurface independent of hydraulic conductivity; and bioremediation, the destruction of organic contaminants or attenuation of inorganic compounds by the activity of microorganisms in situ or ex situ. The objective of the review is to examine the state of knowledge on electrokinetic bioremediation and critically evaluate factors which affect the up-scaling of laboratory and bench-scale research to field-scale application. It discusses the mechanisms of electrokinetic bioremediation in the subsurface environment at different micro and macroscales, the influence of environmental processes on electrokinetic phenomena and the design options available for application to the field scale. The review also presents results from a modelling exercise to illustrate the effectiveness of electrokinetics on the supply electron acceptors to a plume scale scenario where these are limiting. Current research needs include analysis of electrokinetic bioremediation in more representative environmental settings, such as those in physically heterogeneous systems in order to gain a greater understanding of the controlling mechanisms on both electrokinetics and bioremediation in those scenarios.

Keywords: Electrokinetic; Bioremediation; Groundwater; Organic contaminants; Biodegradation


 

 

 
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