Computational fluid dynamics simulation of transport and retention of nanoparticle in saturated sand filters

Ashraf Aly Hassan, Zhen Li, Endalkachew Sahle-Demessie, George A. Sorial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Experimental and computational investigation of the transport parameters of nanoparticles (NPs) flowing through porous media has been made. This work intends to develop a simulation applicable to the transport and retention of NPs in saturated porous media for investigating the effect of process conditions and operating parameters such, as ion strength, and filtration efficiency. Experimental data obtained from tracer and nano-ceria, CeO2, breakthrough studies were used to characterize dispersion of nanoparticle with the flow and their interaction with sand packed columns with different heights. Nanoparticle transport and concentration dynamics were solved using the Eulerian computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver ANSYS/FLUENT® based on a scaled down flow model. A numerical study using the Navier-Stokes equation with second order interaction terms was used to simulate the process. Parameters were estimated by fitting tracer, experimental NP transport data, and interaction of NP with the sand media. The model considers different concentrations of steady state inflow of NPs and different amounts of spike concentrations. Results suggest that steady state flow of dispersant-coated NPs would not be retained by a sand filter, while spike concentrations could be dampened effectively. Unlike analytical solutions, the CFD allows estimating flow profiles for structures with complex irregular geometry and uneven packing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-258
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - Jan 5 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • Flow through porous media
  • Modeling transport and deposition
  • Nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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