Transport of Colloid-Size Oil Droplets in Saturated and Unsaturated Sand Columns Academic Article uri icon


  • Oil in wastewater poses significant treatment and subsequent environmental challenges. Accumulation of oils in soil leads to hydrophobicity, and the transport of colloidal-sized oil droplets may facilitate the co-transport of oil soluble contaminants such as pesticides or pharmaceutical materials. In order to determine transport characteristics of colloidal-sized, edible oil droplets, short-pulse column breakthrough experiments were conducted. Oil droplets (mean diameter 0.7 mum, zeta-potential-34±1, density 0.92 g cm-3) were injected simultaneously with latex microspheres (0.02, 0.2 and 1.0 mum, zeta-potentials-16±1,-30±2, and-49±1, respectively, density 1.055 g cm-3) and bromide in saturated and unsaturated quartz sand (zeta-potential-63±2 mV). Breakthrough of oil droplets was consistently detected first and recovery of oil droplets from the column was 20% greater than similarly sized …

publication date

  • December 1, 2011