Effect of precipitation on low frequency electrical properties of zerovalent iron columns

Yuxin Wu, Lee D. Slater, Nic Korte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


We conducted column studies to investigate the application of a noninvasive electrical method to monitor precipitation in Fe0 columns using (a) Na2SO4 (0.01 M, dissolved oxygen (DO) = 8.8 ppm), and (b) Na2CO3 (0.01 M, DO = 2.3 ppm) solutions. An increase in complex conductivity terms (maximum 40% in sulfate column and 23% in carbonate column) occurred over 25 days. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) identified mineral surface alteration, with greater changes in the high DO sulfate column relative to the low DO carbonate column. X-ray diffractometry (XRD) identified reduced amounts of hematite/maghemite in both columns, precipitation of goethite/akaganeite in the sulfate column, and precipitation of siderite in the carbonate column. Nitrogen adsorption measurements showed increases in specific surface area of iron minerals (27.5% for sulfate column and 8.2% for carbonate column). As variations in electrolytic conductivity and porosity were minimal, electrical changes are attributed to (1) higher complex interfacial conductivity due to increased surface area and mineralogical alteration and (2) increased electronic conduction due to enhanced electron transfer across the iron-fluid interface. Our results show that electrical measurements are a proxy indicator of Fe0 surface alteration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9197-9204
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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