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Colloid retention and mobilization mechanisms under different physicochemical conditions in porous media: A micromodel study

Version 3 2023-10-11, 10:11
Version 2 2023-10-10, 08:50
Version 1 2023-10-08, 12:38
journal contribution
revised on 2023-10-11, 10:10 and posted on 2023-10-11, 10:11 authored by Safna Nishad, Riyadh I. Al-Raoush

Clear understanding of pore-scale mechanisms that control transport and retention of colloids in porous media at different physicochemical conditions is critical to improve design and efficient cleanup methodologies of filter beds. The objective of this work was to investigate the impact of hydrophobicity, solution ionic strength, and pH on colloid retention mechanisms in single-phase and two-phase flow in porous media systems. A series of experiments were conducted using a geometrically representative micromodel. Hydrophilic and hydrophobic colloids were dispersed in water at different solution ionic strength and pH conditions. Findings indicate that hydrophilic colloids exhibit high filtration efficiency as the colloids interact attractively with other colloids and solid-water-interface irrespective of the solution chemistry. However, for hydrophobic colloids, changes in solution chemistry significantly increase colloid retention where the colloid interaction become attractive with the increase in ionic strength and decrease in pH values. Colloids attached to the collector surfaces mobilized by the strong capillary forces induced by the moving gas-water interface and transported along with the interface. However, hydrophilic colloids redeposited on gas-water-solid interfaces or thin water films because of their greater capillary potential. Therefore, greater filtration efficiency is achieved with the hydrophilic colloids compared to the hydrophobic colloids for which the efficiency can be improved by changing the solution chemistry. Moreover, the removal efficiency by the moving gas-water interface was observed to be more for hydrophobic colloids compared to hydrophilic colloids for which the efficiency can be improved by lowering the ionic strength or increasing the pH value. This study indicates that the coupled effects of solution chemistry and colloid hydrophobicity should be taken into account while investigating efficient filtration and cleaning practices for the filter beds.

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Published in: Powder Technology
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2021

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This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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  • Qatar University
  • College of Engineering - QU

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