Bench and Pilot-Scale Applications of Electrochemical Peroxidation (ECP), a New Remedial Concept


Jeffrey Chiarenzelli, Lauren Falanga, Michele Wunderlich

Electrochemical peroxidation (ECP) is a proprietary process that utilizes sacrificial iron electrodes and stochiometrically balanced applications of hydrogen peroxide to efficiently destroy aqueous phase contaminants. In laboratory trials it has been successful in reducing, often to non-detectable levels, BTEX, fuel additives, chlorinated solvents, and polychlorinated biphenyls in ground waters. The process has also been found effective in reducing the chemical and biological oxygen demand of industrial waste water. Agency-approved pilot tests will be conducted at two gasoline spill sites during 2000 where traditional pump and treat methods have proven ineffectual because of ground water chemistry or subsurface hydrologic conditions. The ECP process utilizes a tripartite treatment strategy consisting of: 1) ex situ chemical oxidation; 2) in situ oxidation by reinjection of treated water with residual oxidants at the head of the plume; and 3) reestablishment of aerobic biodegradation by alteration of subsurface redox conditions. In contrast to other in situ oxidation treatment methods, dissolved iron is derived electrochemically, negating the need for ferrous salt addition. Dilute hydrogen peroxide (3%) is incrementally added to maximize oxidation efficiency and eliminate safety and environmental concerns accompanying the use of highly concentrated solutions. Results of laboratory trials and the geological and geochemical considerations of upcoming pilot-scale applications are presented. Other potential applications currently under investigation include combination with other remedial processes (e.g. permeable barriers and hydrogen release compounds) to insure complete and rapid contaminant mineralization.