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Connecting the molecular scale to the continuum scale for diffusion processes in smectite-rich porous media

Description: In this paper, we address the manner in which the continuum-scale diffusive properties of smectite-rich porous media arise from their molecular- and pore-scale features. Our starting point is a successful model of the continuum-scale apparent diffusion coefficient for water tracers and cations which decomposes it as a sum of pore-scale terms describing diffusion in macropore and interlayer 'compartments.' We then apply molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to determine molecular-scale diffusion coefficients D{sub interlayer} of water tracers and representative cations (Na{sup +}, Cs{sup +}, Sr{sup 2+}) in Na-smectite interlayers. We find that a remarkably simple expression relates D{sub interlayer} to the pore-scale parameter {delta}{sub nanopore} {<=} 1, a constrictivity factor that accounts for the lower mobility in interlayers as compared to macropores: {delta}{sub nanopore} = D{sub interlayer}/D{sub 0}, where D{sub 0} is the diffusion coefficient in bulk liquid water. Using this scaling expression, we can accurately predict the apparent diffusion coefficients of tracer H{sub 2}O, Na{sup +}, Sr{sup 2+} and Cs{sup +}+ in compacted Na-smectite-rich materials.
Date: December 1, 2009
Creator: Bourg, I.C. & Sposito, G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Isotopic mass-dependence of noble gas diffusion coefficients inwater

Description: Noble gas isotopes are used extensively as tracers inhydrologic and paleoclimatic studies. These applications requireknowledge of the isotopic mass (m) dependence of noble gas diffusioncoefficients in water (D), which has not been measured but is estimatedusing experimental D-values for the major isotopes along with an untestedrelationship from kinetic theory, D prop m-0.5. We applied moleculardynamics methods to determine the mass dependence of D for four noblegases at 298 K, finding that D prop m-beta with beta<0.2, whichrefutes the kinetic theory model underlying all currentapplications.
Date: June 25, 2007
Creator: Bourg, I.C. & Sposito, G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

CANCELLED Molecular dynamics simulations of noble gases in liquidwater: Solvati on structure, self-diffusion, and kinetic isotopeeffect

Description: Despite their great importance in low-temperaturegeochemistry, self-diffusion coefficients of noble gas isotopes in liquidwater (D) have been measured only for the major isotopes of helium, neon,krypton and xenon. Data on the self-diffusion coefficients of minor noblegas isotopes are essentially non-existent and so typically are estimatedby a kinetic theory model in which D varies as the inverse square root ofthe isotopic mass (m): D proportional to m-0.5. To examine the validityof the kinetic theory model, we performed molecular dynamics (MD)simulations of the diffusion of noble gases in ambient liquid water withan accurate set of noble gas-water interaction potentials. Our simulationresults agree with available experimental data on the solvation structureand self-diffusion coefficients of the major noble gas isotopes in liquidwater and reveal for the first time that the isotopic mass-dependence ofall noble gas self-diffusion coefficients has the power-law form Dproportional to m-beta with 0<beta<0.2. Thus our results callinto serious question the widespread assumption that the square rootmodel can be applied to estimate the kinetic fractionation of noble gasisotopes caused by diffusion in ambient liquid water.
Date: May 25, 2007
Creator: Bourg, I.C. & Sposito, G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Isotopic mass-dependence of metal cation diffusion coefficients in liquid water

Description: Isotope distributions in natural systems can be highly sensitive to the mass (m) dependence of solute diffusion coefficients (D) in liquid water. Isotope geochemistry studies routinely have assumed that this mass dependence either is negligible (as predicted by hydrodynamic theories) or follows a kinetic-theory-like inverse square root relationship (D {proportional_to} m{sup -0.5}). However, our recent experimental results and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations showed that the mass dependence of D is intermediate between hydrodynamic and kinetic theory predictions (D {proportional_to} m{sup -{beta}} with 0 {&lt;=} {beta} &lt; 0.2 for Li{sup +}, Cl{sup -}, Mg{sup 2+}, and the noble gases). In this paper, we present new MD simulations and experimental results for Na{sup +}, K{sup +}, Cs{sup +}, and Ca{sup 2+} that confirm the generality of the inverse power-law relation D {proportional_to} m{sup -{beta}}. Our new findings allow us to develop a general description of the influence of solute valence and radius on the mass dependence of D for monatomic solutes in liquid water. This mass dependence decreases with solute radius and with the magnitude of solute valence. Molecular-scale analysis of our MD simulation results reveals that these trends derive from the exponent {beta} being smallest for those solutes whose motions are most strongly coupled to solvent hydrodynamic modes.
Date: January 11, 2009
Creator: Bourg, I.C.; Richter, F.M.; Christensen, J.N. & Sposito, G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Modeling the diffusion of Na+ in compacted water-saturated Na-bentonite as a function of pore water ionic strength

Description: Assessments of bentonite barrier performance in waste management scenarios require an accurate description of the diffusion of water and solutes through the barrier. A two-compartment macropore/nanopore model (on which smectite interlayer nanopores are treated as a distinct compartment of the overall pore space) was applied to describe the diffusion of {sup 22}Na{sup +} in compacted, water-saturated Na-bentonites and then compared with the well-known surface diffusion model. The two-compartment model successfully predicted the observed weak ionic strength dependence of the apparent diffusion coefficient (D{sub a}) of Na{sup +}, whereas the surface diffusion model did not, thus confirming previous research indicating the strong influence of interlayer nanopores on the properties of smectite clay barriers. Since bentonite mechanical properties and pore water chemistry have been described successfully with two-compartment models, the results in the present study represent an important contribution toward the construction of a comprehensive two-compartment model of compacted bentonite barriers.
Date: August 15, 2008
Creator: Bourg, I.C.; Sposito, G. & Bourg, A.C.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Molecular dynamics simulations of the electrical double layer on smectite surfaces contacting concentrated mixed electrolyte (NaCl-CaCl2)

Description: We report new molecular dynamics results elucidating the structure of the electrical double layer (EDL) on smectite surfaces contacting mixed NaCl-CaCl{sup 2} electrolyte solutions in the range of concentrations relevant to pore waters in geologic repositories for CO{sub 2} or high-level radioactive waste (0.34-1.83 mol{sub c} dm{sup -3}). Our results confirm the existence of three distinct ion adsorption planes (0-, {beta}-, and d-planes), often assumed in EDL models, but with two important qualifications: (1) the location of the {beta}- and d-planes are independent of ionic strength or ion type and (2) 'indifferent electrolyte' ions can occupy all three planes. Charge inversion occurred in the diffuse ion swarm because of the affinity of the clay surface for CaCl{sup +} ion pairs. Therefore, at concentrations 0.34 mol{sub c} dm{sup -3}, properties arising from long-range electrostatics at interfaces (electrophoresis, electro-osmosis, co-ion exclusion, colloidal aggregation) will not be correctly predicted by most EDL models. Co-ion exclusion, typically neglected by surface speciation models, balanced a large part of the clay mineral structural charge in the more concentrated solutions. Water molecules and ions diffused relatively rapidly even in the first statistical water monolayer, contradicting reports of rigid 'ice-like' structures for water on clay mineral surfaces.
Date: April 1, 2011
Creator: Bourg, I.C. & Sposito, G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ion exchange phenomena

Description: Ion exchange phenomena involve the population of readily exchangeable ions, the subset of adsorbed solutes that balance the intrinsic surface charge and can be readily replaced by major background electrolyte ions (Sposito, 2008). These phenomena have occupied a central place in soil chemistry research since Way (1850) first showed that potassium uptake by soils resulted in the release of an equal quantity of moles of charge of calcium and magnesium. Ion exchange phenomena are now routinely modeled in studies of soil formation (White et al., 2005), soil reclamation (Kopittke et al., 2006), soil fertilitization (Agbenin and Yakubu, 2006), colloidal dispersion/flocculation (Charlet and Tournassat, 2005), the mechanics of argillaceous media (Gajo and Loret, 2007), aquitard pore water chemistry (Tournassat et al., 2008), and groundwater (Timms and Hendry, 2007; McNab et al., 2009) and contaminant hydrology (Chatterjee et al., 2008; van Oploo et al., 2008; Serrano et al., 2009).
Date: May 1, 2011
Creator: Bourg, I.C. & Sposito, G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department