Effects of ionic strength on fine particle clogging of soil filters

M. G. Hajra, L. N. Reddi, L. A. Glasgow, M. Xiao, I. M. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of ionic strength of the permeating fluid on the clogging of soil filters and drainage layers are addressed using both experimental and modeling investigations. In the experimental phase, a sandy soil representative of soil filters was permeated with pore fluids containing kaolinite particles. The ionic strength of the solutions was changed using different concentrations of NaOH and KCI. The permeability reductions of the soil filter were determined by varying pore fluid and particle suspension parameters. Higher ionic strength caused more flocculation of the kaolinite particles and resulted in more rapid reduction of permeability. In the modeling phase, a physical clogging model developed previously by the authors, was used to account for the ionic strength effects. A lumped parameter χ0 was used in the model to account for the ionic strength of the pore fluid and the several interparticle forces, for example gravitational, inertial, hydrodynamic, electric double layer, and van der Waals forces. The effect of the lumped parameter χ0 on the permeability reduction was found to be greater than the effect of the sizes of the influent particles. For the same ionic strengths, NaOH resulted in larger flocs of kaolinite particles than KCI, and caused more rapid reduction in permeability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-639
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Aug


  • Clogging
  • Drainage
  • Filters
  • Flocculation
  • Permeability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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