Title page for ETD etd-11212011-181324

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Chan, Matthew Yunho
Author's Email Address mychan@vt.edu
URN etd-11212011-181324
Title Transport, Stability, and Deposition of Gold Nanoparticles in Porous Media
Degree Master of Science
Department Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Vikesland, Peter J. Committee Chair
Marr, Linsey C. Committee Member
Widdowson, Mark A. Committee Member
  • nano
  • nanoparticles
  • nanomaterials
  • gold
  • groundwater
  • porous media
  • transport
  • stability
  • deposition
  • DLVO
  • colloid
  • environmental
  • environment
  • colloidal
  • water
Date of Defense 2011-11-15
Availability unrestricted
Gold-nanoparticle (AuNP) transport in groundwater is heavily influenced by the intrinsic properties of the nanoparticles and the external parameters of the environment. Batch experimental data indicated that 15 nm AuNP coated by bovine serum albumin (BSA-AuNP) was more stable at high ionic strength compared to citrate-coated AuNP (cit-AuNP) of similar size. It was expected that the stability of these AuNP would be replicated in column studies. Column experiments with varying monovalent and divalent ion concentrations using both types of AuNP yielded breakthrough curves that both adhere and deviate from this hypothesis. BSA-AuNP was found to be more stable relative to cit-AuNP during porous media flow in the presence of increasing concentrations of CaCl2, but the opposite occurred with increasing NaCl concentration. Colloidal filtration theory (CFT) fails to predict and explain this discrepancy. DLVO calculations suggested pore-space destabilization occurred in these experiments that were not accounted by CFT.
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