Displacement of Colloidal Dispersions in Porous Media: Experimental & Numerical Approaches
The main objective of this paper is to give more insight on colloids deposition and re-entrainment in presence of a rough surface. Experiments on retention and release of colloids in a porous medium are first presented. The influence of physicochemical and hydrodynamic conditions is investigated. The experimental results cannot be qualitatively interpreted using the DLVO theory and knowledges at pore scale are then needed. A 3D numerical simulation approach at the pore scale is therefore proposed where the motion of colloids is solved in presence of collector surfaces bearing various kinds of asperities and by taking into account physico-chemical interactions calculated at each time step during colloid movement. It is obviously observed that both deposition and mobilization of particles are dependent on solution chemistry and hydrodynamic conditions and are significantly affected by the form and size of the local roughness of the pore surface. Therefore, depending on solution ionic strength and surface topography, colloids may be adsorbed or not and when a particle is retained an increase of flow strength is then needed to remove it and such an increase is specific to the location of occurrence of the adsorption step. In general, simulation results allow us to explain our experimental results that show that by steeply increasing the flow strength, more and more fractions of particles retained inside the porous medium are released until all particles are removed.
A. Ahmadi-Sénichault et al., "Displacement of Colloidal Dispersions in Porous Media: Experimental & Numerical Approaches", Diffusion Foundations, Vol. 7, pp. 53-68, 2016