Electro-migration of nitrate in sandy soil

Naglaa Eid, Walid Elshorbagy, Dennis Larson, Donald Slack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


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. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-149
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000


  • Electro-kinetics
  • Electro-migration
  • Nitrate migration
  • pH gradient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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