Effects of Cathode Coating Materials and Operational Time on the Mercury Removal Performance of Electrokinetic Remediation System for Marine Sediment

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Environmental Management



First page number:


Last page number:



Electrokinetic remediation (EK) is a promising in-situ technique for removing mercury (Hg) from contaminated sites; yet it demands long operational periods when conventional electrodes are used. Herein, we investigate the effectiveness of lab-prepared cathodes (Cu foam coated with reduced graphene oxide (rGO) or manganese oxide (MnO )) to enhance Hg removal rates from sediment by EK. Although short term (2 h) Hg removal rates were insignificantly different (p-value > 0.05) when using the uncoated and coated Cu foam cathodes, long term (60 h) operations saw greater Hg removal by coated Cu foam cathodes over pure Cu foam, probably owing to the time required for Hg to migrate towards the electrodes from sediment. The highest Hg removal at the cathode was achieved when an αMnO -coated Cu foam cathode was used with a strong-base anion exchange membrane (AEM) in the system. Using H PO , as a cathodic electrolyte resulted in a higher Hg removal efficiency than using NaCl and HCl electrolytes. Electromigration was found to be the dominant Hg-ions (e.g. HHgO , Hg ) transport mechanism in the marine sediment during remediation. Overall, this research demonstrates that employing enhanced electrodes and AEMs can enhance Hg removal by EK processes in relatively shorter operating times than conventional EK processes. 2 2 3 4 2 − 2+


Cu foam; Electrokinetic remediation (EK); Hg migration; Manganese oxide (MnO ) 2; Marine sediment


Environmental Engineering



UNLV article access

Search your library