14-17 May 2018
New Orleans
US/Central timezone

Colloidal transport in a microfluidic porous medium with surface charge heterogeneity

16 May 2018, 11:53
New Orleans

New Orleans

Oral 20 Minutes MS 4.10: Evaluation and Optimization of Non-Conservative Transport in Porous Media Parallel 7-A


Yang Guo (Colorado School of Mines)


Colloidal facilitated transport of contaminants is a major concern for transport of low solubility chemicals in ground water flows. Compared with themselves alone, contaminants travel much further after adsorbing to natural colloidal particles, as far as kilometers over years. Therefore, understanding the transport behavior of colloids would provide insightful knowledge for environmental protection and remedy. In the past most lab-scale experiments focused on studying the interactions between particles and homogeneous or physically heterogeneous porous media. In reality, porous media exhibit different chemical properties at the grain scale. To shed some light in this aspect, we built a family of pseudo-three-dimensional microfluidic porous media models packed by 10 µm polystyrene (PS) beads with opposite surface charges. Each porous medium contains more than 6000 beads and has a size of 1000 µm in length, 600 µm in width and 15 µm in height. An on-chip cross channel linked with an off-chip 4-way valve was applied to generate a step input of concentrated colloidal suspension, which also greatly reduced the influence of Taylor dispersion of colloidal particles. We further studied the effect of chemical heterogeneity on the transport and retention of colloidal particles. The breakthrough of the particles was recorded at the downstream of the porous medium. The colloidal retention profile was mapped using a confocal microscope. Beads with different surface properties are distinguished by their different fluorescent labels. Therefore we also obtained colloidal retention data for beads with different surface properties. With our platform, we developed a correlation between the overall collector efficiency and its constitutive collector efficiency under different salt conditions.

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Primary author

Yang Guo (Colorado School of Mines)


JaeKyoung Cho (Colorado School of Mines) Mr Keith B. Neeves (Colorado School of Mines) Dr Ning Wu (Colorado School of Mines) Xiaolong Yin (Colorado School of Mines)

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