Applications of nanotechnology in geotechnical engineering

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Nanotechnology has been applied to many areas such as medicine, manufacturing, catalysis, food, cosmetics, and energy since the beginning 21st century. However, the application of nanotechnology to geotechnical engineering has

Nanotechnology has been applied to many areas such as medicine, manufacturing, catalysis, food, cosmetics, and energy since the beginning 21st century. However, the application of nanotechnology to geotechnical engineering has not received much attention. This research explored the technical benefits and the feasibility of applying nanoparticles in geotechnical engineering. Specific studies were conducted by utilizing high-pressure devices, axisymmetric drop shape analysis (ADSA), microfluidics, time-lapse technology, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to develop experiments. The effects of nanoparticle on modifying interfacial tension, wettability, viscosity, sweep efficiency and surface attraction forces were investigated. The results show that nanoparticles mixed in water can significantly reduce the interfacial tension of water in CO2 in the applications of nanofluid-CO2 flow in sediments; nanoparticle stabilized foam can be applied to isolate contaminants from clean soils in groundwater/soil remediation, as well as in CO2 geological sequestration or enhanced oil/gas recovery to dramatically improve the sweep efficiency; nanoparticle coatings are capable to increase the surface adhesion force so as to capture migrating fine particles to help prevent clogging near wellbore or in granular filter in the applications of oil and gas recovery, geological CO2 sequestration, geothermal recovery, contaminant transport, groundwater flow, and stormwater management system.