8In Situ Soil and Sediment Remediation: Electrokinetic and Electrochemical Methods

Sibel Pamukcu

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, USA

8.1 Introduction and Background

Environmental sustainability relies on the health of natural soils and sediments, which are filters and conduits to surface and drinking waters and sources of nutrients for plant and animal life. Pollution is widely recognized as a significant challenge to soil and sediment and subsequently to groundwater resource management (Hadley and Ellis, 2009; Koch et al., 2013; McBratney et al., 2014). There are multiple pathways of soil–sediment pollution, a major one being point source pollution. Industrial leakage, improper discharge, leakage from energy production activities, urban runoff and construction activities, and improper management of waste (i.e. biowaste) are among some causes of point source pollution (Lima et al., 2012a; Mihelcic et al., 2017). When a plume of contaminants (i.e. organic molecular compounds, nano‐substances, pharmaceuticals, immiscible liquids, heavy metals) permeating through soil encounters a low permeability layer, it initially sinks in this layer but can switch to being a source of long‐term contamination over time. Pollution that remains as a potential point source in low permeability soils and sediments is a remediation challenge (Macdonald et al., 2000; Reddy, 2010).

In most field situations, the contaminants are found adsorbed onto ...

Get Handbook of Environmental Engineering now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.