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Environ Sci Technol. 2003 May 15;37(10):2242-50.

Modeling colloid attachment, straining, and exclusion in saturated porous media.

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George E. Brown, Jr., Salinity Laboratory, USDA, ARS, 450 West Big Springs Road, Riverside, California 92507-4617, USA.


A conceptual model for colloid transport is developed that accounts for colloid attachment straining, and exclusion. Colloid attachment and detachment is modeled using first-order rate expressions, whereas straining is described using an irreversible first-order straining term that is depth dependent. Exclusion is modeled by adjusting transport parameters for colloid-accessible pore space. Fitting attachment and detachment model parameters to colloid transport data provided a reasonable description of effluent concentration curves, but the spatial distribution of retained colloids at the column inlet was severely underestimated for systems that exhibited significant colloid mass removal. A more physically realistic description of the colloid transport data was obtained by simulating both colloid attachment and straining. Fitted straining coefficients were found to systematically increase with increasing colloid size and decreasing median grain size. A correlation was developed to predict the straining coefficient from colloid and porous medium information. Numerical experiments indicated that increasing the colloid excluded volume of the pore space resulted in earlier breakthrough and higher peak effluent concentrations as a result of higher pore water velocities and lower residence times, respectively. Velocity enhancement due to colloid exclusion was predicted to increase with increasing exclusion volume and increasing soil gradation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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