Aquatic environment

Experimental investigation of the e ect of flow turbulence and sedimenttransport patterns on the adsorption of cadmium ions onto sediment particles

HUANG Sui-liang , NG Chiu-on , GUO Qi-zhong


Received July 26, 2006,Revised January 09, 2007, Accepted , Available online

Volume 19,2007,Pages 696-703

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The mechanism of flow turbulence, sediment supply conditions, and sediment transport patterns that a ect the adsorption of cadmium ions onto sediment particles in natural waters are experimentally simulated and studied both in batch reactors and in a turbulence simulation tank. By changing the agitation conditions, the sediment transport in batch reactors can be categorized into bottom sedimentdominated sediment and suspended sediment-dominated sediment. It is found that the adsorption rate of bottom sediment is much less than that of suspended sediment, but the sediment transport pattern does not a ect the final (equilibrium) concentration of dissolved cadmium. This result indicates that the parameters of an adsorption isotherm are the same regardless of the sediment transport pattern. In the turbulence simulation tank, the turbulence is generated by harmonic grid-stirred motions, and the turbulence intensity is quantified in terms of eddy di usivity, which is equal to 9.84F (F is the harmonic vibration frequency) and is comparable to natural surface water conditions. When the turbulence intensity of flow is low and sediment particles stay as bottom sediment, the adsorption rate is significantly low, and the adsorption quantity compared with that of suspended sediment is negligible in the 6 h duration of the experiment. This result greatly favors the simplification of the numerical modeling of heavy metal pollutant transformation in natural rivers. When the turbulence intensity is high but bottom sediment persists, the rate and extent of descent of the dissolved cadmium concentration in the tank noticeably increase, and the time that is required to reach adsorption equilibrium also increases considerably due to the continuous exchange that occurs between the suspended sediment and the bottom sediment. A comparison of the results of the experiments in the batch reactor and those in the turbulence simulation tank reveals that the adsorption ability of the sediment, and in particular the adsorption rate, is greatly over-estimated in the batch reactor.

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