School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering

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Ming Wu

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 1015

Start date

Mar 2007

Submission date

Aug 2011

Curriculum vitae

Ming Wu CV
[doc, 141.52 kb]
Updated 31 May 2011

Ming Wu


Numerical modeling of Electrokinetic-ISCO Remediation of Low Permeability Aquifers


A new numerical model is developed that simulates groundwater flow and multi-species reactive transport under hydraulic and electrical gradients. Coupled into the existing, reactive transport model PHT3D, the model was verified against published analytical and experimental studies, and has applications in remediation cases where the geochemistry plays an important role.

The numerical model is used to investigate issues relating to the electrokinetic transport of amendments for in-situ chemical oxidation, in particular:

• Conduct a sensitivity analysis of hydraulic and electrokinetic parameters, and

• Investigate the effect of system design factors on the efficacy of electrokinetic augmentation of in situ chemical oxidation.

• Identify field operation methods that improve the electrokinetic remediation process.

Why my research is important

The effective remediation of low-permeability porous media (clays, silts) contaminated with dissolved and sorbed organic contaminants is an unresolved challenge of groundwater research. In this type of setting the currently applied remediation methods, such as pump-and-treat technology, are often ineffective and the treatment effectiveness is often limited by very slow rates of molecular diffusion. The long-term “back-diffusion” of contaminants from contaminated low-permeability media to the surrounding aquifer is probably the most significant remaining challenge in environmental restoration of highly contaminated sites.

Electrokinetics, the application of a low-level electric field in the subsurface zone, is significantly more effective than a hydraulic potential in driving fluid and chemical species fluxes in low permeability sediments. The electrokinetic transport of amendments for in-situ chemical oxidation has significant potential for remediating low-permeability sediments.


  • Robert and Maude Gledden Postgraduate Scholarship
  • Centre for Groundwater Studies Postgraduate Top-up Scholarship
  • Australian Research Council Linkage Grant LP0776887


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