Author(s): Li Y, Wang Y, Pennell KD, Abriola LM
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Abstract A coupled experimental and mathematical modeling investigation was undertaken to explore nanoscale fullerene aggregate (nC60) transport and deposition in water-saturated porous media. Column experiments were conducted with four different size fractions of Ottawa sand at two pore-water velocities. A mathematical model that incorporates nonequilibrium attachment kinetics and a maximum retention capacity was used to simulate experimental nC60 effluent breakthrough curves and deposition profiles. Fitted maximum retention capacities (S(max)), which ranged from 0.44 to 13.99 microg/g, are found to be correlated to normalized mass flux. The developed correlation provides a means to estimate S(max) as a function of flow velocity, nanoparticle size, and mean grain size of the porous medium. Collision efficiency factors, estimated from fitted attachment rate coefficients, are relatively constant (approximately 0.14) over the range of conditions considered. These fitted values, however, are more than 1 order of magnitude larger than the theoretical collision efficiency factor computed from Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory (0.009). Data analyses suggest that neither physical straining nor attraction to the secondary minimum is responsible for this discrepancy. Patch-wise surface charge heterogeneity on the sand grains is shown to be the likely contributor to the observed deviations from classical DLVO theory. These findings indicate that modifications to clean-bed filtration theory and consideration of surface heterogeneity are necessary to accurately predict nC60 transport behavior in saturated porous media.
This article was published in Environ Sci Technol
and referenced in Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering