Plenary Lecture

Application of Electrokinetics in Remediation and Stabilization of Clays

Professor Dilek Turer
Department of Geological Engineering Department
Hacettepe University

Abstract: Application of electrokinetics in remediation and stabilization of soils is a rather developing technology. In environmental practices, it has been shown that this technique is effective in cleaning of heavy metals, radionuclides and organic contaminants from polluted soils. It involves application of direct current to the soil between appropriately distributed electrodes. During the application, charged ions are transported towards oppositely charged electrode by electromigration due to applied current. At the same, pore water moves towards cathode by electroosmosis because of negative surface charge of the soil.This technique has also been applied in solving geotechnical problems such as increasing shear strength of soft soils. Application of electrokinetics has been favored over compaction, cementation, preloading procedures especially in locations, where existence of buildings interfere with the stabilization of soft soils. With this technique it is possible to achieve increase in strength of soil without causing disturbance in subsurface. In both environmental and geotechnical practices electrokinetics is especially suitable for low permeability clay soils. There is, however, one drawback in this technique and that is achievement of decontamination and stabilization in restricted areas of the soils. Decontamination is effective in areas close to anode with low pH conditions, while stabilization is effective in areas close to cathode with high pH conditions. New studies are focusing on solving this problem.
In this lecture, basics of electrokinetics and examples of both environmental and geotechnical applications of the technique carried out by the speaker will be presented.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Assoc.Prof.Dr D. Turer holds a bachelor degree in Geological Engineering from Middle East Technical University (TURKEY), MSc and PhD (2000) in Geology from the University of Cincinnati (USA). She has been a faculty member of Geological Engineering Department of Hacettepe University (TURKEY) since 2001. Her research interests include, stabilization/solidification technologies, heavy metal contamination of soils and environmental geology.