Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2019AK015B

Laboratory Investigation of Infiltration Process of Non-Newtonian Fluids through Porous Media in a Non-Isothermal Flow Regime for Effective Remediation of Adsorbed Contaminants

Institute: Alaska
Year Established: 2019 Start Date: 2019-05-01 End Date: 2020-04-30
Total Federal Funds: $24,998 Total Non-Federal Funds: $49,996

Principal Investigators: Fawad Naseer

Abstract: The overall goal of this research is to study a methodology of using non-Newtonian fluids for effective remediation of adsorbed contaminants in porous media under non-isothermal flow regimes. Our prior research on rheological characterization of non-Newtonian fluids in comparison to Newtonian fluids at 0.6°C, 5°C, 15°C, 19°C and 30.6°C has been very informative in understanding their strain, contact angle and viscosity differences at different concentration levels of Guar gum (Naseer et al., 2017) and Xanthan gum. Based on these results, we are proposing three components as objectives of this research. Since, there is little information about the moisture retention characteristics of non-Newtonian fluids, the first component is to develop moisture retention characteristics for unsaturated flow of non-Newtonian fluids (Guar gum and Xanthan gum) under different thermal regimes. Study of flow characteristic of non-Newtonian fluids in complex porous media have been limited. Hence, the second component of this study will focus on a comparison of flow characteristics of Newtonian fluid and non-Newtonian fluid in a glass-tube-bundle setup that will act as a synthetic porous media with flow being studied at different thermal regimes. The third component of the research will be to compare the effectiveness of a type of fluid to remediate a surrogate adsorbed contaminant at a certain temperature from the synthetic porous media. Guar gum and Xanthan gum are biodegradable and hence these polymers are benign to the environment. Through these experiments, the mobility and behavior of non-Newtonian fluids under various temperature conditions will be characterized and its effectiveness in removing contaminants from soils will be understood. Guar gum and Xanthan gum are good suspension fluids and hence, studying the suspension capability at low temperatures would be of great importance. The outcome of this research will provide critical knowledge of cost effective, environmentally benign and time efficient remediation of contaminated soils in Alaska and other cold regions.