, Volume 100, Issue 3, pp 377-392
Date: 06 Sep 2013

Suspended Particles Transport and Deposition in Saturated Granular Porous Medium: Particle Size Effects

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An experimental study on the transport and deposition of suspended particles (SP) in a saturated porous medium (calibrated sand) was undertaken. The influence of the size distribution of the SP under different flow rates is explored. To achieve this objective, three populations with different particles size distributions were selected. The median diameter \(d_{50}\) of these populations was 3.5, 9.5, and \(18.3~\upmu \hbox {m}\). To study the effect of polydispersivity, a fourth population noted “Mixture” (\(d_{50} = 17.4\; \upmu \hbox {m}\)) obtained by mixing in equal proportion (volume) the populations 3.5 and \(18.3\;\upmu \hbox {m}\) was also used. The SP transfer was compared to the dissolved tracer (DT) one. Short pulse was the technique used to perform the SP and the DT injection in a column filled with the porous medium. The breakthrough curves were competently described with the analytical solution of a convection–dispersion equation with first-order deposition kinetics. The results showed that the transport of the SP was less rapid than the transport of the DT whatever the flow velocity and the size distribution of the injected SP. The mean diameter of the recovered particles increases with flow rate. The longitudinal dispersion increases, respectively, with the increasing of the flow rates and the SP size distribution. The SP were more dispersive in the porous medium than the DT. The results further showed that the deposition kinetics depends strongly on the size of the particle transported and their distribution.