General electrokinetic model for concentrated suspensions in aqueous electrolyte solutions: electrophoretic mobility and electrical conductivity in static electric fields
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AutorCarrique Fernández, Félix; Ruiz-Reina, Emilio; Roa, Rafael; Arroyo Roldán, Francisco J.; Delgado, Ángel V.
Concentrated suspensionsCell modelElectrophoretic mobilityElectrical conductivityStandard electrokinetic modelAqueous electrolyte solutions
Carrique, F.; et al. General electrokinetic model for concentrated suspensions in aqueous electrolyte solutions: electrophoretic mobility and electrical conductivity in static electric fields. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science: online (2015). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/36531]
PatrocinadorFinancial supports for this work by MICINN, Spain (projects FIS2010- 18972, FIS2013-47666-C3-1R, 2R, 3R) and Junta de Andalucía, Spain (project P2012-FQM-694), co-financed with FEDER (European Fund for Regional Development) funds by the EU.
In recent years different electrokinetic cell models for concentrated colloidal suspensions in aqueous electrolyte solutions have been developed. They share some of its premises with the standard electrokinetic model for dilute colloidal suspensions, in particular, neglecting both the specific role of the so-called added counterions (i.e., those released by the particles to the solution as they get charged), and the realistic chemistry of the aqueous solution on such electrokinetic phenomena as electrophoresis and electrical conductivity. These assumptions, while having been accepted for dilute conditions (volume fractions of solids well below 1 %, say), are now questioned when dealing with concentrated suspensions. In this work, we present a general electrokinetic cell model for such kind of systems, including the mentioned effects, and we also carry out a comparative study with the standard treatment (the standard solution only contains the ions that one purposely adds, without ionic contributions from particle charging or water chemistry). We also consider an intermediate model that neglects the realistic aqueous chemistry of the solution but accounts for the correct contribution of the added counterions. The results show the limits of applicability of the classical assumptions and allow one to better understand the relative role of the added counterions and ions stemming from the electrolyte in a realistic aqueous solution, on electrokinetic properties. For example, at low salt concentrations the realistic effects of the aqueous solution are the dominant ones, while as salt concentration is increased, it is this that progressively takes the control of the electrokinetic response for low to moderate volume fractions. As expected, if the solids concentration is high enough the added counterions will play the dominant role (more important the higher the particle surface charge), no matter the salt concentration if it is not too high. We hope this work can help in setting up the real limits of applicability of the standard cell model for concentrated suspensions by a quantitative analysis of the different effects that have been classically disregarded, showing that in many cases they can be determinant to get rigorous predictions.