Copper and chromium electrodialytic migration in CCA-treated timber waste

Jurate Virkutyte, Emiliya Velizarova, Alexandra B. Ribeiro, Mika Sillanpää

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-treated timber waste is hazardous for the environment due to the leakage of copper, chromium as well as arsenic to the soil and the groundwater. The study concentrates on electrodialytic removal of copper and chromium and their migration behavior in the wood chips and sawdust matrix in an applied electric field. The method is based on the movement of the charged particles in the electric field, enhanced by incubation with oxalic acid (2.5% w/w) and various placement of the contaminated waste in the electrodialytic cell area to analyze the distribution of chemicals in the proposed matrix. The method was tested in laboratory scale experiments where the CCA contaminated wood chips and clean sawdust were placed in various places of the cell, i.e., adjacent to the cathode and anode compartments and in the mid-section of the cell. The duration of each experiment was 14 days and the current was kept constant at 40 mA. During the electrodialytic treatment negative copper and chromium compounds were mostly found in the anolyte or accumulated in the anion-exchange membrane. The amount of positive compounds found in the catholyte is negligible. The placement of contaminated chips close to the anode and cathode showed that copper and chromium moved towards the positively charged anode. If placed in the mid section of the cell, significant amount of contaminants remained bound to the wood matrix or slightly migrated towards the anode. To predict the formation of copper and chromium species at certain pH and Eh, the computer-modeling program MTDATA to generate Pourbaix diagrams was used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-39
Number of pages13
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • CCA-treated timber waste
  • Electrodialytic migration
  • Heavy metals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution


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