Electricity used for in situ soil remediation

An in situ remediation technology that uses electricity to drive contaminants from the soil is being developed for cleaning up contamination at industrial sites. The process, known as Lasagna, uses electrical current to drive contaminants from heterogeneous or low-permeability soils into treatment zones installed directly in the contaminated area. A consortium of companies (Monsanto, DuPont, and General Electric) has collaborated with the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the US EPA to carry out two field tests at a DOE plant, chosen for its combination of low-permeability soil and trichloroethylene (TCE) as the sole contaminant. This paper describes the first field test in which TCE in the contaminated soil was transported into carbon-containing treatment zones where it was trapped. The test was very successful, removing over 98% TCE from the contaminated soil, with most treated samples showing greater than 99% removal. The success of this test paved the way for the second and much larger field test in which TCE was degraded in place.

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