January 13, 2023
Natural Colloids Facilitated Transport of Steroidal Estrogens in Saturated Porous Media: Mechanism and Processes
AbstractSteroid estrogens (SEs) are widely distributed in terrestrial environment, whilst the transport of SEs in groundwater is not well understood. Specifically, the effects of ubiquitous natural colloids on the SEs transport are unclear. Here, the influence of inorganic colloids (i.e. silica and illite) and organic colloids, i.e. Humic acid (HA), on the transport of estrone (E1) and estradiol (E2) in saturated porous media were studied in laboratory scale column experiments. Characterization on the colloids and the column packing material was conducted to provide bases for the interpretation of column test findings. Results showed that the transport of SEs was facilitated by the nature colloids that were migrating through the saturated porous media. About 38.5% of E1 and 24.6% of E2 were retained in the column when colloids were absent in the system. When transporting with silica colloids, illite colloids, and HA colloids, the transport of E1 was enhanced by 15.64%, 11.17%, and 25.60%, respectively; whilst the transport of E2 was improved by 19.56%, 23.06%, and 36.40%, respectively. The colloids’ SEs transport enhancement depended not only on the mobility of the colloids but also on their geochemical characteristics. The tested organic colloids showed 1.5-2.5 times greater ability on promoting the transport of SEs than the inorganic ones. The proposed mechanisms of nature colloids facilitated transport of SEs include competing for adsorption sites on the sand surfaces by the colloids resulting mobilization of adsorbed SEs from solid matrix, and transport of colloids as carriers for SEs.
Published: January 13, 2023