The Society of Rheology 89th Annual Meeting

October 8-12, 2017 - Denver, Colorado


Suspensions, Colloids and Granular Systems

Polyelectrolyte – particle flocculation in complex suspensions with mixed hydrodynamic fields

October 9, 2017 (Monday) 10:40

Track 3 / Crystal C

(Click on name to view author profile)

  1. Metaxas, Athena (University of Minnesota, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science)
  2. Wilkinson, Nikolas (University of Minnesota, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science)
  3. Dutcher, Cari (University of Minnesota, Mechanical Engineering)

(in printed abstract book)
Athena Metaxas, Nikolas Wilkinson, and Cari Dutcher
Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Metaxas, Athena

Water-soluble polymers with ionizable groups, or polyelectrolytes, are used in a number of applications, such as drinking water treatment, to form mesoscale structures (‘flocs’) with solid particulates in solution. Studying assembly kinetics and floc microstructure is particularly complex for systems with anisotropic particulates, such as clays, due to the variety of solution-dependent clay aggregate sizes and morphologies. Here, we explore assembly dynamics of anisotropic Na-bentonite clay particles with cationic polyacrylamide, a polymer commonly used in water treatment, in a variety of chemical solution conditions using a new Taylor-Couette cell setup. Taylor-Couette (TC) flows are ideal for study of mixing and composite material assembly due to their wide variation in controlled hydrodynamic flows. However, traditional TC cells are limited in their ability to examine initial mixing stages of an assembly process while the cell is operating. A TC cell with the novel ability to radially inject fluid into the annulus will be used to study how the hydrodynamics affect assembly and structure of these materials during the flocculation process. This work sheds more light on the complexities of polymer-anisotropic particle flocculation, towards improving dosing and treatment optimization for more efficient water treatment.