Humic acid transport in saturated porous media: Influence of flow velocity and influent concentration

Xiaorong Wei , Mingan Shao , Lina Du , Robert Horton


Received February 08, 2014,Revised June 09, 2014, Accepted , Available online December 22, 2014

Volume 26,2014,Pages 2554-2561

Understanding the transport of humic acids (HAs) in porous media can provide important and practical evidence needed for accurate prediction of organic/inorganic contaminant transport in different environmental media and interfaces. A series of column transport experiments was conducted to evaluate the transport of HA in different porous media at different flow velocities and influent HA concentrations. Low flow velocity and influent concentration were found to favor the adsorption and deposition of HA onto sand grains packed into columns and to give higher equilibrium distribution coefficients and deposition rate coefficients, which resulted in an increased fraction of HA being retained in columns. Consequently, retardation factors were increased and the transport of HA through the columns was delayed. These results suggest that the transport of HA in porous media is primarily controlled by the attachment of HA to the solid matrix. Accordingly, this attachment should be considered in studies of HA behavior in porous media.

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