Influence of natural organic matter in the transport medium on fine particle transport

Zhou, Yuhong (2017) Influence of natural organic matter in the transport medium on fine particle transport. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Although extensive research has been conducted to understand the effects of dissolved organic matter (DOM) on fine particle transport, less attention has been paid to NOM in the transport medium (i.e., immobile rock and sediment grains). The objective of this study is to the roles of NOM in the transport medium in mediating particle transport. We conducted an experimental and modelling study on the transport of nanoscale titanium dioxide (nTiO₂) and illite colloid in columns packed with quartz sand under water-saturated conditions. Peat moss was used as an example NOM and packed in some of the columns to investigate its influence on particle transport. Experimental results showed that NOM may either increase or decrease particle transport depending on the specific conditions. NOM in the transport medium was found to attract particles and reduce particle mobility when the energy barrier between particle and NOM is low or non-existent. NOM also adsorbed to Fe and Al oxyhydroxides and promoted the transport of negatively-charged particles at low pH. Partial dissolution of NOM releases DOM, and the DOM adsorbs to and increases the transport of positively-charged particles. Additionally, NOM changes pore water pH, which influences particle mobility by affecting the interaction energy between the particle and transport medium. Modelling results showed that the deposition sites of peat moss are very heterogeneous, and the NOM from peat moss may reduce particle deposition rate by adsorbing to the particle and/or transport medium. Findings from this study demonstrates that NOM in the transport medium not only changes properties of the medium, but also may alter water chemistry. Therefore, the role of NOM in mediating particle transport is complicated and dependent on the properties of the particle, NOM, and mineralogical composition of the medium.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 13045
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 48-56).
Keywords: natural organic matter (NOM), nanoscale titanium dioxide (nTiO2), illite colloid, column experiments, contaminant transport in groundwater, DLVO interaction energy
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Earth Sciences
Date: December 2017
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Granular flow; Water -- Organic compound content

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