Transport of sucrose-modified nanoscale zero-valent iron in saturated porous media: role of media size, injection rate and input concentration

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The growing use of nanoscale zero-valent iron (NZVI) in the remediation of contaminated groundwater raises concerns regarding its transport in aquifers. Laboratory-scale sand-packed column experiments were conducted with bare and sucrose-modified NZVI (SM-NZVI) to improve our understanding of the transport of the nanoparticles in saturated porous media, as well as the role of media size, suspension injection rate and concentration on the nanoparticle behavior. As the main indicative parameters, the normalized effluent concentration was measured and the deposition rate coefficient (k) was calculated for different simulated conditions. Overall, compared to the high retention of bare NZVI in the saturated silica column, SM-NZVI suspension could travel through the coarse sand column easily. However, the transport of SM-NZVI particles was not very satisfactory in a smaller size granular matrix especially in fine silica sand. Furthermore, the value of k regularly decreased with the increasing injection rate of suspension but increased with suspension concentration, which could reflect the role of these factors in the SM-NZVI travel process. The calculation of k-value at the tests condition adequately described the experimental results from the point of deposition dynamics, which meant the assumption of first-order deposition kinetics for the transport of NZVI particles was reasonable and feasible.

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