Reviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 17–38

A review of non-DLVO interactions in environmental colloidal systems


    • Picker Engineering ProgramSmith College
  • K. Subramaniam
    • Picker Engineering ProgramSmith College
  • M. Butkus
    • Department of Geography and Environmental EngineeringThe United States Military Academy
  • K. Strevett
    • School of Civil Engineering and Environmental ScienceUniversity of Oklahoma
  • J. Bergendahl
    • Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringWorcester Polytechnic Institute

DOI: 10.1023/A:1015146710500

Cite this article as:
Grasso*, D., Subramaniam, K., Butkus, M. et al. Re/Views in Environmental Science and Bio/Technology (2002) 1: 17. doi:10.1023/A:1015146710500


The interaction and behavior of surfaces orcolloids is of quantitative significance inunderstanding the transport and fate ofcompounds and microorganisms in environmentalsystems. Historically, the DLVO model ofcolloid stability has described theseinteractions. This model finds its basis in aforce (energy) balance that comprisesattractive van der Waals and repulsiveelectrostatic interactions. Recently, the DLVOmodel has been found unable to fully describebiotic and abiotic colloidal behavior inaqueous media. The suspending phase (commonlywater) is often treated as a force (energy)transmitting or propagating medium. It isreasonable to believe that the structure ofwater may participate in a more significantfashion. Moreover, other moieties (sorbed anddissolved) may also have non-DLVO effects. Significant work has been focused on extendingthe precepts of the traditional DLVO model toaccommodate these non-DLVO forces (energies). This paper reviews many of the interactionsthat play a role in environmental systems andare not commonly subsumed by the traditionalDLVO model: e.g., hydrogen bonding and thehydrophobic effect, hydration pressure,non-charge transfer Lewis acid baseinteractions, and steric interactions.

colloidsDLVOelectrical double layerenvironmentalhydration pressurehydrogen bondingroughnesssteric interactionsstructural forcessurfaces

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002