Detachment of Nanoparticles In Granular Media Filtration

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An understanding of particle-particle interactions in filtration requires studying the detachment as well as the attachment of nanoparticles. Nanoparticles captured in a granular media filter can be released by changing the physicochemical factors. In this study, the detachment of captured silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in granular media filtration was examined under different ionic strengths, ion type, and the presence or absence of natural organic matter (NOM). Filtration velocity and ionic strength were chosen as the physical and chemical factors to cause the detachment. Increasing filtration velocity caused a negligible amount of AgNP detachment. On the other hand, lowering ionic strength showed different release amounts depending on the background ions, implying a population of loosely captured particles inside the filter bed. Overall detachment was affected by ionic strength and ion type, and to a lesser degree by NOM coating which resulted in slightly more detachment (in otherwise identical conditions) than in the absence of that coating, possibly by steric effects. The secondary energy minimum with Na ions was deeper and wider than with Ca ions, probably due to the lack of complexation with citrate and charge neutralization that would be caused by Ca ions. This result implies that the change in chemical force by reducing ionic strength of Na ions could significantly enhance the detachment compared to that caused by a change in physical force, due to a weak electrostatic deposition between nanoparticles and filter media. A modification of the 1-D filtration model to incorporate a detachment term showed good agreement with experimental data; estimating the detachment coefficients for that model suggested that the detachment rate could be similar regardless of the amount of previously captured AgNPs.



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