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Bianco, C., J.E. Patino Higuita, T. Tosco, A. Tiraferri, and R. Sethi.
Scientific Reports 7:12992(2017)

A model-assisted strategy was developed to control the distribution of colloids in porous media in the framework of iron oxide-based aquifer nanoremediation, in this case by the delivery of humic acid-stabilized iron oxide nanoparticles (FeOx), a typical reagent for in situ immobilization of heavy metals. The treatment strategy comprises tuned sequential injections of FeOx suspensions and solutions containing a destabilizing agent (calcium or magnesium) to develop two fronts that advance at different rates and overlap at the target location of the porous systems. In the target area the particles deposit and accumulate irreversibly, creating a reactive zone. An analytical expression predicting the position of the clustering zone in a 1D system was derived from first principles of advective-dispersive transport. Through this equation, the sequence and duration of the injection of the different solutions in the medium can be assessed. Successful application of the model to various systems comprising the use of different sands or immobilizing cations in 1D and 2D geometries demonstrated its robustness. This method has the potential to make nanoremediation a more effective alternative to conventional techniques. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-13423-y.pdf?origin=ppub

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