Towards a description of particulate fouling: from single particle deposition to clogging.

Research paper by Christophe C Henry, Jean-Pierre JP Minier, Grégory G Lefèvre

Indexed on: 13 Nov '12Published on: 13 Nov '12Published in: Advances in Colloid and Interface Science


Particulate fouling generally arises from the continuous deposition of colloidal particles on initially clean surfaces, a process which can even lead to a complete blockage of the fluid cross-section. In the present paper, the initial stages of the fouling process (which include single-particle deposition and reentrainment) are first addressed and current modelling state-of-the-art for particle-turbulence and particle-wall interactions is presented. Then, attention is specifically focused on the later stages (which include multilayer formation, clogging and blockage). A detailed review of experimental works brings out the essential mechanisms occurring during these later stages: as for the initial stages, it is found that clogging results from the competition between particle-fluid, particle-surface and particle-particle interactions. Numerical models that have been proposed to reproduce the later stages of fouling are then assessed and a new Lagrangian stochastic approach to clogging in industrial cases is detailed. These models further confirm that, depending on hydrodynamical conditions (the flow velocity), fluid characteristics (such as the ionic strength) as well as particle and substrate properties (such as zeta potentials), particle deposition can lead to the formation of either a single monolayer or multilayers. The present paper outlines also future numerical developments and experimental works that are needed to complete our understanding of the later stages of the fouling process.