A coupled experimental and mathematical modeling invest on 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 (Smax), which ranged from 0.44 to 13.99 μg/g, are found to be correlated to normalized mass flux. The developed correlation provides a means to estimate Smax 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 (∼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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry