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Title: Foam-assisted delivery of nanoscale zero valent iron in porous media

Foam is potentially a promising vehicle to deliver nanoparticles for vadose zone remediation as foam can overcome the intrinsic problems associated with solution-based delivery, such as preferential flow and contaminant mobilization. In this work, the feasibility of using foam to deliver nanoscale zero valent iron (nZVI) in unsaturated porous media was investigated. Foams generated using surfactant sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES) showed excellent ability to carry nZVI. SLES and nZVI concentrations in the foaming solutions did not affect the percentages of nZVI concentrations in foams relative to nZVI concentrations in the solutions. When foams carrying nZVI were injected through the unsaturated columns, the fractions of nZVI exiting the column were much higher than those when nZVI was injected in liquid. The enhanced nZVI transport implies that foam delivery could significantly increase the radius of influence of injected nZVI. The type and concentrations of surfactants and the influent nZVI concentrations did not noticeably affect nZVI transport during foam delivery. In contrast, nZVI retention increased considerably as the grain size of porous media decreased. Oxidation of foam-delivered nZVI due to oxygen diffusion into unsaturated porous media was visually examined using a flow cell. It was demonstrated that if foams are injected tomore » cover a deep vadose zone layer, oxidation would only cause a small fraction of foam-delivered nZVI to be oxidized before it reacts with contaminants.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Environmental Engineering (ASCE), 139(9):1206-1212
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States