Air sparging is a popular soil remediation technique that enables the removal of contaminants through diffusing air into soil. The removal process is, however, slow. The goal of this work is to study the effect of electromagnetic (EM) waves —with minimal heat generation— on transport mechanisms such as diffusion, in order to improve airflow or contaminant transport in order to expedite the cleanup process using air sparging or similar technologies. This effect is studied through an experimental setup that examines the diffusion of a nonreactive dye in water under EM waves at a range of frequencies (50-200 MHz). The electric field was simulated using COMSOL Multiphysics for better three-dimensional (3D) visualization and analysis and then validated using the experimental measurements. A dielectrophoretic study was then performed using the simulated electric field. Various dye flows under EM stimulation at different frequencies were compared. At 65 MHz and 76 MHz, the dye flow was in the direction of the dielectrophoretic forces, which are believed to be the governing mechanism for the EM-stimulated dye transport.
This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at Geo-Congress 2014 Technical Papers: Geo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability, published by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Copyright restrictions may apply. doi: 10.1061/9780784413272.154
Farid, Arvin; Najafi, Atena; Azad, Mahsa; Browning, Jim; and Barney Smith, Elisa. (2014). "Electromagnetically Induced Transport in Water for Geoenvironmental Applications". Geo-Congress 2014 Technical Papers: Geo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability, 1576-1585. http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/9780784413272.154