Real-time monitoring of nanoparticle retention in porous media

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Nanoparticles are not specifically targeted in conventional treatment schemes; consequently, typical wastewater treatment systems are ineffective for nanoparticles removal. With rapidly increasing concern over their health effects, improved understanding of nanoparticle transport and retention in porous media filters is critical because of its application in new wastewater treatment methods and for assessment of the fate of the discharged nanoparticles in soil. In this study, a unique and robust integrated method is developed and validated. Experimentally, this approach uses an on-line, real-time, and in situ method for measuring nanoparticle retention dynamics, eliminating the laborious and less accurate sampling and off-line analysis. The data analysis part is a process simulator which provides both kinetic properties of the retention process as well as the overall capacity and loading. This technique is validated by application to the transport and retention of TiO2 nanoparticles in two vastly different porous filtration media-activated carbon and sand. TiO2 retained concentrations ranged from 0. 24 to 0. 37 mg g-1 for activated carbon and 0. 01-0. 014 mg g-1 for sand. The integrated method presented here is useful for both comparison of the filtration effectiveness of various porous materials as well as for process optimization and scale-up for industrial applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Activated carbon
  • Dispersant
  • Model
  • Nanomaterials
  • Sand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry


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