Electro-migration of nitrate in sandy soil

Naglaa Eid, Walid Elshorbagy, Dennis Larson, Donald Slack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-149
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 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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