Abstract

Saturated sand box experiments were conducted to explore the effect of various physical factors on the transport and deposition of suspended particles in porous media. Red quartz powder and natural quartz sand were employed in the study and acted as suspended particles and porous media, respectively. Particles were injected into the sand box in two modes, i.e., pulse injection and continuous injection. Tests were performed at various particle concentrations, flow velocities, deposition rate coefficient and longitudinal dispersion coefficient by both injection modes. The breakthrough curves were described with the analytical solution of a convection–dispersion equation, in which first-order deposition kinetics were taken into account. Different behavior of suspended-particle transport and deposition in porous media was observed under different injection modes and experimental conditions. The results show that effluent concentration was approximately linear with the initial particle concentration. The deposition rate coefficient depends strongly on particle size and flow velocity, and the transport and deposition process was very sensitive to it. Furthermore, the longitudinal dispersion coefficient increases with increasing flow rate, and particles are easier to transport through pores as the longitudinal dispersion coefficient increases. This study shows the importance of particle concentration, flow velocity, deposition rate coefficient and longitudinal dispersion coefficient in the transport and deposition process of suspended particles.

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