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Institut für Wasser- und Umweltsystemmodellierung - IWS



"Characteristics and Mobility of Zero-Valent Nano-Iron in Porous Media - A Laboratory Assessment Study"

Aquifers contaminated with chlorinated solvents promises to be very effectively remediated with reactive nano-iron. The large specific surface of nano-iron results in extremely fast reaction rates. Due to the small size, the particles are thought of to be able to be injected into the aquifer and reach the contaminants through simple injection wells. So far, very little is known about the exact transport capacity of nano-iron. In the literature the claims toward this differ greatly. In this research project, systematic experiments were conducted to get a better understanding of the mobility and characteristics of nano-iron. It was shown that the transport distance of nano-iron particles was affected by the age (and with that the aggregation stage) of the particles, by the discharge and the concentration of the suspension during injection, by the grain size distribution, as well as the permeability and heterogeneity of the porous media. There was no significant change in the retardation of nano-iron at different velocities. Apart from the experiments, a technology to accurately and non-destructively measure the concentration distribution of nano-iron in a column was developed.