The foam generated by the mixture of air and water has a much higher viscosity and lower mobility than those of pure water or gas that constitutes the air-water foam. The possibility of using the air-water foam as a flow barrier for the purpose of groundwater and soil remediation is explored in this paper. A nanoparticle-stabilized air-water foam was fabricated by vigorously stirring the nano-fluid in pressurized condition. The foam bubble size distribution was analyzed with a microscope. The viscosities of foams generated with the solutions with several nanoparticle concentrations were measured as a function of time. The breakthrough pressure of foam-saturated microfluidic chips and sand columns were obtained. The hydraulic conductivity of a foam-filled sand column was measured after foam breakthrough. The results show that: (1) bubble coalescence and the Ostwald ripening are believed to be the reason of bubble size distribution change; (2) the viscosity of nanoparticle-stabilized foam and the breakthrough pressures decreased with time once the foam was generated; (3) the hydraulic conductivity of the foam-filled sand column was almost two orders of magnitude lower than that of a water-saturated sand column even after the foam-breakthrough. Based on the results in this study, the nanoparticle-stabilized air-water foam could be injected into contaminated soils to generate vertical barriers for temporary hydraulic conductivity reduction.
- Air-water foam
- Breakthrough pressure
- Hydraulic conductivity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law