Transport of titanium dioxide nanoparticles in saturated porous media under various solution chemistry conditions
Item TypeJournal Article
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Because of its wide applications, nanosized titanium dioxide may become a potential environmental risk to soil and groundwater system. It is therefore important to improve current understanding of the environmental fate and transport of titanium oxides nanoparticles (TONPs). In this work, the effect of solution chemistry (i.e., pH, ionic strength, and natural organic matter (NOM) concentration) on the deposition and transport of TONPs in saturated porous media was examined in detail. Laboratory columns packed with acid-cleaned quartz sand were used in the experiment as porous media. Transport experiments were conducted with various chemistry combinations, including four ionic strengths, three pH levels, and two NOM concentrations. The results showed that TONP mobility increased with increasing solution pH, but decreased with increasing solution ionic strength. It is also found that the presence of NOM in the system enhanced the mobility of TONPs in the saturated porous media. The Derjaguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek (DLVO) theory was used to justify the mobility trends observed in the experimental data. Predictions from the theory agreed excellently with the experimental data.