Electrokinetic Migration of Permanganate Through Low-Permeability Media


School of Environmental Systems Engineering, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia; (61) 8-6488 2408; fax: (61) 8-6488 1015; david.reynolds@uwa.edu.au


This research was conducted to evaluate the combination of electromigration and potassium permanganate as a potential remediation method for low-permeability media (e.g., soil and sediment) contaminated with dissolved and sorbed organic contaminants. The experimental procedure was composed of two stages: determination of migration rates of permanganate through homogeneous cores and a primarily qualitative analysis of migration in more heterogeneous, two-dimensional scenarios. Results indicated that transport of permanganate through fine-grained porous media and clays can be undertaken using electromigration, and electromigration rates were found to be at least 400% faster than diffusion alone. In addition, the use of an applied electric field in a flushing scenario was shown to result in almost 100% sweep efficiency of a domain consisting of clay blocks interspersed in a glass bead medium. The results of the study show that there is potential for this method to be able to deliver permanganate and other potential remedial agents to treat contaminated zones within heterogeneous and low-permeability porous media through in situ chemical oxidation or other processes.