Transport and adsorption of proteinanceous particles during flow through porous media Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/rr172184x

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  • This is a fundamental study of the mechanism of protein particle removal during flow through sandy soil. Mathematical models for diffusion-adsorption and diffusion-convection-adsorption processes were developed and compared with experimental data. An attempt was made to calculate the distance over which the adsorption forces act. The differential equation for the rate of adsorption obtained in this study was integrated to obtain the concentration of proteins in the adsorbed phase as a function of time and location for three different types of adsorption isotherms. Protein particles, namely albumin molecules were used to simulate viruses since the fate of viral pathogens in groundwater supplies has a direct effect on public health and is therefore of immediate concern. The rationale for using albumin is that many viruses including pathogenic viruses such as poliomyelitis have protein coats and many of them are small though perhaps not as small as albumin. If we assume that the mechanism for particle retention is adsorption and not molecular sieving then it seems just as reasonable to use albumin as a model as it would be to use any particular virus to be representative of the others. Practically speaking there are, of course, many advantages to the use of radioactive albumin. Silica was used as the adsorbent to simulate sandy soils. Batch tests were conducted to obtain the time-dependent adsorption data which did not include the effect of flow rate. Later, flow tests were conducted with a thin layer permeameter that would permit the establishment of the differential rate equation for adsorption. From the results of the batch tests, the rate of adsorption of albumin on silica was interpreted as a diffusion-limited process. Time to complete the adsorption was strongly dependent on the specific surface and the concentration of soil. From a theoretical consideration of the interaction potential due to physical adsorption forces, the low energy barrier created at a distance of a few particle diameters from the interface could be the reason for the apparently smaller diffusion coefficients of albumin obtained from the batch tests. From the flow tests, it was found that adsorption was limited by diffusion at high flow velocities and at low flow velocities such as naturally occurring ones, the adsorption was limited by the flow rate. Based on integration of the differential rate equations obtained from flow tests, the favorable adsorption isotherms such as the Langmuir and Freundlich types caused abruptly changing concentration fronts which moved down the column with time but remained constant in shape, whereas the linear isotherm produced a dispersion-like concentration front.
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