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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 153123, 9 pages
Research Article

Electrokinetic Treatment for Model Caissons with Increasing Dimensions

Department of Civil Engineering, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada P7B 5W2

Received 24 September 2012; Accepted 16 November 2012

Academic Editor: Jean-Herve Prevost

Copyright © 2012 Eltayeb Mohamedelhassan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Electrokinetic treatment has been known in geotechnical engineering for over six decades, yet, the technique is rarely used. This stems from the absence of design guidelines and specifications for electrokinetic treatment systems. An important issue that need to be investigated and understood in order to devise guidelines from experimental results is the effect of the foundation element size on the outcome of the treatment. Also important is determining the optimum distance between the electrodes and estimating the energy consumption prior to treatment. This experimental study is a preliminary step in understanding some of the issues critical for the guidelines and specifications. Four model caissons with surface areas between 16000 and 128000 mm2 were embedded in soft clayey soil under water and treated for 168 hr with a dc voltage of 6 V. From the results, a distance between the anode (model caisson) and the cathode equal 0.25 times the outside diameter of the model caisson was identified as optimum. Relationships between the surface area and axial capacity of the model caisson and the surface area and energy consumption were presented. The equations can be used to preliminary estimate the load capacity and the energy consumption for full-scale applications.