The Role of Stabilizer Concentration in the Mobility of Carbon-Supported Nanozerovalent Iron (nZVI) in Fractured Media

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10 Scopus citations


The mobility of nanozerovalent iron (nZVI) particles is of major importance when assessing their effectiveness for use in contaminated sites. Here, the influence of the stabilizer loading on nZVI mobility was investigated in fractured media. nZVI in the form of Carbo-Iron Colloids (CIC), a composite material of activated carbon as a carrier for nZVI, was used for the tests. CIC was supplemented with carboxymethyl cellulose stabilizer, at three different loadings: 5% wt., 20% wt., and 80% wt., in a moderately saline solution of 250 mM. Transport experiments were conducted in a fractured chalk core, and the characteristics of the solutions and particles were analyzed. The effect of ionic strength was investigated by application of the 80% loading, also in a lower salinity solution of ~3 mM. Transport experiments were modeled, and all results were compared with especially high 1,600% wt. stabilizer loading, from a previous study. Among the different carboxymethyl cellulose loadings, significant differences in mobility and a correlation between mobility and stability were observed. Though, differences in stability were found insignificant. Higher stabilizer concentration and, to a greater extent, a higher number of free stabilizer molecules in solution enhance particle stability and, hence, mobility. A good fit was obtained between the transport experiment results and a model of solute and colloid transport in a single fracture. The model attachment parameters showed a good correlation with the decay rate constants of the stability tests, indicating yet again the significant role played by stability in CIC mobility and the possibility for mobility prediction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8164-8177
Number of pages14
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • CMC
  • colloid transport
  • fractured media
  • groundwater remediation
  • nZVI
  • stabilizer loading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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