In the present study, the assessment of heavy metal contaminant migration from fresh mine tailings was conducted using the electrokinetic remediation technique (EKR). In this sense, a pilot EKR cell was designed to evaluate the recovery potential of copper, nickel, and cobalt species. In particular, the focus was on the impacts of electric field intensity and pH in initial mixture and testing their interaction in copper, nickel, and cobalt migration. Experiments were made using a 22 factorial experimental design with a central point, using DC electric fields from 1.0 to 2.0 V cm−1 and H2SO4 pretreatment solutions from 1.0 to 2.0 mol L−1, along with an ANOVA test with error reduction. The metal removal rates were approximately 7% for cobalt, neglectable for copper, and 6% for nickel. In the best cases, the highest concentrations by migration at the cathodic zone were 11%, 31%, and 30%, respectively. According to ANOVA tests, factor interaction was proven for each metal in the half cell near the cathode and the closest zone from the cathode specifically. Both factors affected metal concentrations, which indicates that when the goal aims for species accumulation in a narrower section, each factor has a significant effect, and their interaction makes a proven enhancement. Thus, using 2.0 V cm−1 and 2.0 mol L−1 showed a high improvement in metal concentration in the cathodic zone.
2022 - Avenida Brasil 2162, Valparaíso, en la Facultad de Ingeniería de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso.