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Effects of low-molecular weight organic acids on the transport of graphene oxide nanoparticles in saturated sand columns

Li, Jiaqi, Chen, Jiuyan, Lu, Taotao, Wang, Ying, Zhang, Haojing, Shang, Zhongbo, Li, Deliang, Zhou, Yanmei, Qi, Zhichong
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.666 pp. 94-102
adsorption, calcium, cations, glycolic acid, graphene oxide, malonic acid, moieties, molecular weight, nanoparticles, pH, quartz, sand, sodium, tartaric acid
The impact of low-molecular weight organic acids (LMWOAs) on the transport of graphene oxide (GO) nanoparticles in saturated quartz sand was investigated. The different LMWOAs such as acetic acid, glycolic acid, malonic acid, and tartaric acid were used in experiments. The effects of LMWOAs on the transport of GO were markedly dependent upon organic acid species. In general, the transport enhancement effects followed the order of tartaric acid > malonic acid > glycolic acid > acetic acid, the regular pattern might be related to amount and type of functional groups of LMWOAs. Additionally, the different enhanced ability of LMWOAs was determined by their molecular weight. In the presence of Na+, the main deposition mechanism was ascribed to steric hindrance and competition between LMWOA and GO for deposition sites on grain surfaces under acidic conditions (i.e., pH 4.0 and 5.0). Batch adsorption experiments indicated the extents of competitive adsorption between LMWOAs and GO on quartz sand. In addition, the DLVO theory was not applicable to describe the transport of GO in the presence of LMWOAs at pH 5.0. Nevertheless, electrostatic and steric repulsion, existing between GO and sand grains, were the most important deposition mechanisms under the neutral condition (i.e., pH 7.0). When Ca2+ was the main cation in the background solution, the transport enhancement effects followed quite similar order to those of Na+, mainly due to different complexing strength of organic acids.