Removal of hydrophobic organic contaminants (HOCs) using surfactant-enhanced electrokinetic (EK) method was studied in a model system. Kaolinite and phenanthrene were selected as a model clay soil and a representative HOC, respectively. Three different types of surfactants: APG (alkyl polyglucoside), Brij30 (polyoxyethylene-4-lauryl ether), and SDS (sodium dodecyl sulfate), were used to enhance the solubility of HOC. Characteristics of surfactants, such as surface tension, HOC solubility, and biodegradability were measured. In the case of Brij30 solution, phenanthrene solubility was higher than that of others. After 4 days, APG and Brij30 were degraded by 65% and 26% of the initial amount, respectively. However, degradation of SDS was hardly detected. Electroosmotic flow (EOF) of Brij30 solution was lower than others when the 0.1 M NaCl was used as electrolyte. Addition of the acetate buffer solution increased the EOF of Brij30 solution and enhanced removal of phenanthrene. Among three different surfactants tested, APG showed the highest removal efficiency. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V All rights reserved.