Migration of nitrate to groundwater has become a serious threat in many agricultural areas. This paper presents the results of experimental laboratory tests studying the nitrate gradient developed in response to an electrical potential. Two systems were tested; the first had no flow (closed system) and the second had flow opposite to the direction of the electrical current. A solution of sodium nitrate in sandy soil was used in both systems. The tests showed that the electro-kinetic process effectively concentrated and retained nitrate close to the anode. The movement of NO3- through the soil column was significantly influenced by the development of a pH gradient. Statistical analysis was performed to determine best-fit equations relating the nitrate gradient to the electrical input and pH gradient. A simple one-dimensional finite difference model was used to predict the pH gradient developed during the electro-kinetic process. The experimental measurements closely agreed with the predicted spatial and temporal distribution of the nitrate gradient for both closed and open system configurations.
- Nitrate migration
- pH gradient
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis