Electrodialytic removal of heavy metals from different solid waste products

Lisbeth M. Ottosen, Iben V. Kristensen, Anne J. Pedersen, Henrik K. Hansen, Arne Villumsen, Alexandra B. Ribeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


A variety of heavy metal polluted waste products must be handled today. Electrochemical methods have been developed for remediation of polluted soil. One of the methods is the electrodialytic remediation method that is based on electromigration of heavy metal ions and ionic species within the soil matrix, and a separation of the soil and the process solutions, where the heavy metals are concentrated, with ion exchange membranes. For remediation of some soils, such as calcareous soils, it is necessary to add an enhancement solution. It was shown in a laboratory experiment that ammonium citrate could be used when removing Cu and Cr from a soil with 25% carbonates. The final concentrations of the elements were below the target values after the remediation. A question of whether the electrodialytic remediation method can be used for other waste products arose. Preliminary experiments showed that the method could be used for removal of different heavy metals from impregnated wood waste, fly ash from straw combustion, and fly ash from municipal solid waste incineration. The best result was obtained with the wood waste where more than 80% of each of the polluting elements Cu, Cr and As was removed in a 7-day experiment in which oxalic acid was used as enhancement solution. From the straw ash, 66% of the Cd was removed, but 64% of the fly ash dry mass dissolved during the treatment. In this actual experiment, no enhancement solution was used but that will be necessary to avoid dissolution of the ash to such a high extent. For the fly ash from waste incineration, ammonium citrate was tested as enhancement solution and in 14 days 62% Cd, 53% Cu, 6% Pb, and 31% Zn were removed. The preliminary results were thus promising for developing the electrodialytic method to other products than soil, although more research is needed especially in finding the best enhancement solutions for each product.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1269-1289
Number of pages21
JournalSeparation Science And Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Electrodialysis
  • Electrokinetic remediation
  • Enhancement solution
  • Heavy metals
  • Solid waste


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