Pore-scale investigation on mechanisms of colloid retention in unsaturated porous media.
Colloid-facilitated transport of contaminants and transport of biocolloids (e.g., viruses and bacteria) in soil porous media are acknowledged environmental issues. Understanding of the mechanisms and parameters controlling colloid transport is important for protection of soil and groundwater resources from bio- and chemical contamination and improvement of remediation practices. For research purposes, unsaturated soil is often represented with idealized porous media, which facilitates conceptual understanding of colloid transport and retention mechanisms. Major colloid retention mechanisms include retention at solid-water interface (SWI), at air-water interface (AWI), and on the contact line. Additional colloid retention occurs as a result of straining in the narrow, compared to colloid size, regions of porous media. Colloid retention at AWI and colloid retention on the contact line are characteristic of unsaturated porous media and are currently associated with substantial uncertainty in colloid transport literature regarding their respective roles and contributions to overall colloid retention. In order to distinguish colloid retention mechanisms, traditional laboratory column experiments often require supplementary pore-scale investigation.;The focus of this research was to investigate colloid retention at AWI and contact line at the pore scale. In this work, open capillary channels and microfluidic channels were utilized as models of soil capillaries, and behavior of colloids was visualized directly with confocal microscope. The employed channels have angular cross sections, which is in agreement with a more realistic angular representation of soil capillaries. The open-channel configuration served as a model of free-surface flow in microscopic grooves and corners in soil while the microfluidic channels were used to represent two-phase (air-water) flow in soil such as during drainage and infiltration events. To acquire qualitative and quantitative information, experimental confocal images were recorded and systematically processed with advanced imaging software.;Colloid behavior in open channels with square cross section was investigated both in static and dynamic regimes. During flow in the channel, colloid movement occurred along the contact line, which acted as a colloid accumulation site due to reduced velocities in the contact line region. For this channel configuration, flow stagnation at AWI was observed, which promoted colloid retention at AWI. The maximum velocity and therefore maximum colloid transport were observed inside the channel. These observations indicated the importance of hydrodynamic conditions in affecting colloid retention. In the static regime, effects of a number of physicochemical parameters on colloid retention at AWI, including ionic strength, colloid contact angle, and surface tension (addition of surfactant), were investigated. It was shown that retention of colloids at AWI was dependent on electrostatic conditions and colloid contact angle and varied to a lesser extent with addition of non-ionic surfactant. The retention of colloids at AWI in a static system was analyzed with extended Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory and was attributed to a possible secondary energy minimum retention.;In microfluidic channels, which have a trapezoid cross section, AWI was observed as a two-phase boundary. In such configuration, both AWI and contact line move in the flow direction. It was shown that colloid retention on the contact line was considerably affected by hydrodynamic conditions. Colloid retention at AWI occurred primarily via involvement of colloids, which were previously deposited on the wall, with the moving contact line. Direct retention of dispersed colloids at AWI was not observed. The moving AWI was realized both as receding (air) and advancing (water) fronts, which allowed examination of the role that AWI played in colloid mobilization under both drainage and infiltration scenarios.;Experimental results were considered in view of colloid interaction energies as well as forces acting on colloids at the sites of interest. Both experimental and theoretical findings resulted in improved understanding of colloid retention at AWI and contact line in the considered configurations, i.e., open channel and two-phase flows. The results of this research provide mechanistic understanding of colloid retention and can be applied in interpretation of observations at larger scales and in modeling of colloid transport in unsaturated porous media.;This dissertation is accompanied with supplementary material showing representative video images and illustrating the discussed processes. System requirements for viewing the video: Windows Media Player or RealPlayer.......
【作者单位】: University of Delaware.
【关 键 词】: Pore-scale investigation on mechanisms of colloid retention in unsaturated porous media.
【授予学位单位】: University of Delaware.
【学科】: Agriculture, Soil Science.;Environmental Sciences.;Engineering, Environmental.
【上篇论文】: 学术学位 - Fluid flow and particle dispersion in lung acini.
【下篇论文】: 学术学位 - Modeling the hydrologic interactions between an aging reservoir and the surrounding groundwater.