M4EKR, Multiphysics for ElectroKinetic Remediation of Polluted Soils
Yustres Real, Ángel
López-Vizcaino López, Rubén
Navarro Gamir, Vicente
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Electrokinetic soil remediation (EKR) is one of the most promising techniques for decontamination of low permeability soils, in which the most classical techniques have been found to be less efficient. However, its practical application on a real scale has been rather limited since the phenomena involved in these processes are very complex. For this reason, it is essential to use numerical models that allow us to know the main trends in the behaviour of soils and natural waters subjected to EKR processes. This study presents the numerical model M4EKR (Multiphysics for ElectroKinetic Remediation). The M4EKR module is a reactive transport model for partially saturated soils that allows reproducing the transport of species due to electroosmosis, electromigration, diffusion and advective flow. The model was completely implemented in COMSOL Multiphysics, a partial differential equation solver. The system of differential and algebraic equations to solve the chemical and transport problem was fully defined by the authors, and they were solved by the M4EKR module in COMSOL (monolithic approach). The scope of the model is illustrated by simulating an EKR process of a natural soil and porewater contaminated with a polar pesticide: 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. For simplicity, the M4EKR version used in this study does not include gas transport, it does not consider the deformability of the soil and it is assumed the processes occur under isothermal conditions.