Temperature dependency of virus and nanoparticle transport and retention in saturated porous media

Salini Sasidharan, Saeed Torkzaban, Scott A. Bradford, Peter G. Cook, Vadakattu V.S.R. Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of temperature on virus (PRD1 and ΦX174) and carboxyl-modified latex nanoparticle (50 and 100 nm) attachment was examined in sand-packed columns under various physiochemical conditions. When the solution ionic strength (IS) equaled 10 and 30 mM, the attachment rate coefficient (katt) increased up to 109% (p < 0.0002) and the percentage of the sand surface area that contributed to attachment (Sf) increased up to 160% (p < 0.002) when the temperature was increased from 4 to 20 °C. Temperature effects at IS = 10 and 30 mM were also dependent on the system hydrodynamics; i.e., enhanced retention at a lower pore water velocity (0.1 m/day). Conversely, this same temperature increase had a negligible influence on kattand Sfvalues when IS was 1 mM or > 50 mM. An explanation for these observations was obtained from extended interaction energy calculations that considered nanoscale roughness and chemical heterogeneity on the sand surface. Interaction energy calculations demonstrated that the energy barrier to attachment in the primary minimum (∆Φa) decreased with increasing IS, chemical heterogeneity, and temperature, especially in the presence of small amounts of nanoscale roughness (e.g., roughness fraction of 0.05 and height of 20 nm in the zone of influence). Temperature had a negligible effect on kattand Sfwhen the IS = 1 mM because of the large energy barrier, and at IS = 50 mM because of the absence of an energy barrier. Conversely, temperature had a large influence on kattand Sfwhen the IS was 10 and 30 mM because of the presence of a small ∆Φaon sand with nanoscale roughness and a chemical (positive zeta potential) heterogeneity. This has large implications for setting parameters for the accurate modeling and transport prediction of virus and nanoparticle contaminants in ground water systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-20
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Contaminant Hydrology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • Nanoparticle
  • Retention
  • Surface roughness
  • Temperature
  • Virus
  • XDLVO theory


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