Zhan Wang Tiantian Li Chongyang Shen Jianying Shang Kaiyu Shi Yulong Zhang Baoguo Li
Sand column experiments were performed under saturated conditions to investigate impact of humic acid (HA) on attachment of nC60 nanoparticles (NPs) in NaCl and CaCl2 at ionic strengths (ISs) from 1 mM to 100 mM and subsequent detachment via reducing solution IS. The attachment increased with increasing IS due to reduced repulsive Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) interaction energy and accordingly increased retention in primary energy wells. More attachments occurred in CaCl2 compared to NaCl because Ca2+ exhibited greater charge screen ability and served as a bridging agent between the NPs and sand surfaces. The presence of HA significantly reduced nC60 NPs attachment on sand surfaces (especially on nanoscale physical heterogeneities) in 10 mM NaCl and 1 mM CaCl2 because of enhanced electrostatic and steric repulsions. Interestingly, although the HA did not cause reduction of attachment in 100 mM NaCl and 10 mM CaCl2 compared to the case in absence of HA, the HA caused weak attachment of nC60 on sand surfaces and then much more significant detachment by decreasing IS. The HA did not alter both attachment and detachment in 100 mM CaCl2, because the Ca2+ at the high concentration caused formation of very stable complex of HA and NPs, and strong interaction of the complex with the sand surfaces via cation bridge. Our study highlighted that the HA can not only enhance the transport of NPs by inhibiting attachment as revealed in the literature, but also by the continuous capture and release of the NPs from surfaces in subsurface environments.
nC60 nanoparticles; Colloid; Humic acid; Porous media; Transport