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Impact of Sodium Humate Coating on Collector Surfaces on Deposition of Polymer-Coated Nanoiron Particles

Journal article
Authors V. Micic
D. Schmid
N. Bossa
Andreas P. Gondikas
M. Velimirovic
F. von der Kammer
M. R. Wiesner
T. Hofmann
Published in Environmental Science & Technology
Volume 51
Issue 16
Pages 9202-9209
ISSN 0013-936X
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of marine sciences
Pages 9202-9209
Language en
Links doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b01224
Keywords zero-valent iron, heterogeneous porous-media, colloid transport, humic-acid, nanoparticles, sand, polyelectrolytes, aggregation, remediation, mechanisms, Engineering, Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Subject categories Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources


The affinity between nanoscale zerovalent iron (nano-ZVI) and mineral surfaces hinders its mobility, and hence its delivery into contaminated aquifers. We have tested the hypothesis that the attachment of poly(acrylic acid)-coated nano-ZVI (PAA-nano-ZVI) to mineral surfaces could be limited by coating such surfaces with sodium (Na) humate prior to PAA-nano-ZVI injection. Na humate was expected to form a coating over favorable sites for PAA-nano-ZVI attachment and hence reduce the affinity of PAA-nano-ZVI for the collector surfaces through electrosteric repulsion between the two interpenetrating charged polymers. Column experiments demonstrated that a low concentration (10 mg/L) Na humate solution in synthetic water significantly improved the mobility of PAA-nano-ZVI within a standard sand medium. This effect was, however, reduced in more heterogeneous natural collector media from contaminated sites, as not an adequate of the collector sites favorable for PAA-nano-ZVI attachment within these media appear to have been screened by the Na humate. Na humate did not interact with the surfaces of acid-washed glass beads or standard Ottawa sand, which presented less surface heterogeneity. Important factors influencing the effectiveness of Na humate application in improving PAA-nano-ZVI mobility include the solution chemistry, the Na humate concentration, and the collector properties.

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