Upscaling colloid transport and retention under unfavorable conditions: Linking mass transfer to pore and grain topology

William P. Johnson, Markus Hilpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We revisit the classic upscaling approach for predicting Darcy-scale colloid retention based on pore-scale processes, and explore the implicit assumption that retention is a Markov process. Whereas this assumption holds under favorable attachment conditions, it cannot be assumed to hold under unfavorable conditions due to accumulation of colloids in the near-surface fluid domain. We develop a novel link between two-layer mass transfer parameters and the topologies of the pore and collector domains, starting with an elegant outcome of classic colloid filtration theory: that the likelihood of mass transfer from the bulk- to the near-surface fluid domain depends strongly on colloid proximity to the forward flow stagnation axis of each collector (grain). Applying this concept to colloid mass transfer from the near-surface to the bulk fluid domain yields the conclusion that such mass transfer predominantly occurs at rear-flow stagnation zones on collector surfaces. We support this concept with experimental proof that the alignment of rear and forward flow stagnation zones influences colloid mass transfer to surfaces. Colloid accumulation in the near-surface fluid domain under unfavorable conditions may produce extended tailing of colloids during elution in Darcy-scale studies by: (1) long residence times of colloids in the near-surface fluid domain; (2) direct propagation of near-surface colloids from upstream to downstream collectors. The latter generates correlated motion that violates the assumed independence of colloid retention on history of transport. We suggest an approach to upscaling that accounts for the above-described influences of colloid-surface interactions and pore/collector domain topology. Key Points Colloid retention upscaling assumes independence on transport history Colloid accumulation near surfaces violates the assumed independence Forward and rear flow stagnation zones govern transfer to/from bulk fluid

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5328-5341
Number of pages14
JournalWater Resources Research
Volume49
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

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upscaling
colloid
topology
mass transfer
stagnation flow
fluid
transfer zone
history
tailings
residence time

Keywords

  • colloid
  • extended tailing
  • filtration
  • pore and grain matrix and topology
  • secondary energy minimum
  • upscaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

Upscaling colloid transport and retention under unfavorable conditions : Linking mass transfer to pore and grain topology. / Johnson, William P.; Hilpert, Markus.

In: Water Resources Research, Vol. 49, No. 9, 2013, p. 5328-5341.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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