Transport of nanoparticles with dispersant through biofilm coated drinking water sand filters

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This article characterizes, experimentally and theoretically, the transport and retention of engineered nanoparticles (NP) through sand filters at drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) under realistic conditions. The transport of four commonly used NPs (ZnO, CeO2, TiO2, and Ag, with bare surfaces and coating agents) through filter beds filled with sands from either acid washed and calcined, freshly acquired filter media, and used filter media from active filter media, were investigated. The study was conducted using water obtained upstream of the sand filter at DWTP. The results have shown that capping agents have a determinant importance in the colloidal stability and transport of NPs through the different filter media. The presence of the biofilm in used filter media increased adsorption of NPs but its effects in retaining capped NPs was less significant. The data was used to build a mathematical model based on the advection-dispersion equation. The model was used to simulate the performance of a scale-up sand filter and the effects on filtration cycle of traditional sand filtration system used in DWTPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6457-6466
Number of pages10
JournalWater Research
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofilm
  • Dispersant
  • Nanoparticles
  • Sand filter
  • Transport modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Transport of nanoparticles with dispersant through biofilm coated drinking water sand filters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this