Electrokinetics is the study of electrical charges in liquid matter and in particles, and steady currents in electric circuits. Electrokinetics also involves analyzing the specific behavior of moving charged particles that result from applied electric and magnetic fields. Although electrokinetics may be somewhat difficult to explain, it does have many uses.

Electrokinetics has been used for many, many years as an effective tool in oil recovery and in the extracting and removal of water from soil. In Europe , for example, electrokinetics is being used commercially to eliminate heavy metal contaminants like mercury, uranium, and other heavy metal combinations. Moreover, one of the newest ways that electrokinetics is now being increasingly used is as a method of contamination remediation to separate, extract and remove pollutants and toxins, such as heavy metals, radionuclides and other organic contaminants from sections of infected soil or sediments.

One way to understand how electrokinetics functions in this remediation process is to think of how a battery operates. Once electrodes are presented and charged, the particles are activated by the electric current, in both batteries and electrokinetics. Then once the particles are activated, they move toward the electrode.

But how does electrokinetics work to remove these specific contaminants in the soil? First of all, a low-concentration, low-power direct current, which is applied as an electric field across the polluted soil, is used to remove the contaminants. This current causes electroosmosis, a form of electrokinetics, as well as ion mitigation.

What happens next is an electrode unit-consisting of an electrode, water and a pump-is used, which allows the water and the electric current to pass. Finally, the particles flow through the outer porous, ceramic casing of the electrode, where they are extracted and promptly treated. All in all, electrokinetics is important and useful in contamination remediation.



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