The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Electrokinetic Remediation - Economic and Regulatory Considerations


Economic and Regulatory Considerations

The cost involved in practicing this method is highly dependent on various factors of chemical and hydraulic properties of the soil. In the case of heavy metal remediation the energy consumption is estimated to be 500 kWh/m3 in pilot-scale studies when the electrodes are 1 -1.5m apart. The cost could vary between $25 - $225 per cubic yard depending on the target contamination, pore water conductivity and soil characteristics. The cost is also site-specific. The remediation process would alter the soil pH and metals might precipitate near the cathode (Sharma and Reddy., 2004). Though research has been conducted to avoid premature precipitation, there should be more research done to actually find a way to avoid the precipitation. More field studies would help in validating the migration rates by modeling. 

The regulatory concerns here include time taken for the cleanup process since the efficiency decreases with time. The remediated site and the surrounding areas may not be able to sustain vegetation due to radical changes in the soil chemistry. Acid and basic fronts would remain in soil for a long time after the remediation is completed. Usually the soil near the cathode is removed since precipitation of the contaminants occurs.  


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