Environmental

Oral

395147 - The Effect of Natural Organic Matter on the Mobility of Elemental Copper Nanoparticles in Saturated Porous Media

Tuesday, June 5
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Lakeshore B
Co-Authors: S. Arafat Rahman, USA – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Toxicity studies of copper oxide nanoparticles (nCu) have demonstrated the potential risk to the aquatic and subsurface ecosystems upon introduction of this material to the environment due to enhanced biocidal activity compared to micrometer-sized copper particles. This necessitates an accurate understanding of the fate and transport behavior of nCu is their release into the environment is deemed inevitable due to wide application in industrial applications. The environmental fate and transport of nCu, however, is an underexplored area of colloidal science. Presence of organic matter in natural subsurface environment is an important factor that influences particle-soil grain surface chemistry thereby affecting and further complicating the mobility characteristics of nCu in natural systems.
In this study, a multi-attachment site approach is developed to explain the experimental nCu elution data reported in Jones and Su (2012), where column transport experiments are conducted at different humic and fulvic acid concentrations. A comparative analysis of the developed model with conventional filtration models is conducted which evaluates models performance through (i) analysis of model residuals and (ii) accordance with theoretical DLVO and shadow-zone effect predictions. Lastly, the correlational relationship between the fitted nCu mobility parameters (e.g., attachment efficiencies, maximum attainable surface attachment capacity, and detachment rate constant) and humic acid concentration is evaluated using nonlinear regression analysis.

S. Arafat B. Rahman

Graduate Research Assistant
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

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Amir Taghavy


University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Amir Taghavy joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as an Assistant Professor in September 2015. A civil engineer by training and an environmental hydrogeologist, Amir received his PhD in the Environmental Water Resources Engineering from Tufts University (Medford, MA) in 2013 where he built his research profile as a modeler in the field of flow and reactive transport in porous media, with focus on the fate and transport of nanoparticles in aquatic-terrestrial systems. He then joined the Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin as a postdoctoral research fellow. His postdoctoral research centered on the upscaling of nanotechnology-based solutions for subsurface engineering problems including the enhanced oil recovery and CO2 flood conformance. During his first semester as a faculty member here at UMass, he taught a course on Probability and Statistics to senior/graduate-level engineering students.

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