Self-organization of hydrophobic soil and granular surfaces

McHale, Glen, Shirtcliffe, Neil, Newton, Michael, Pyatt, F. Brian and Doerr, Stefan (2007) Self-organization of hydrophobic soil and granular surfaces. Applied Physics Letters, 90 (5). 054110. ISSN 0003-6951

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Soil can become extremely water repellent following forest fires or oil spillages, thus preventing penetration of water and increasing runoff and soil erosion. Here the authors show that evaporation of a droplet from the surface of a hydrophobic granular material can be an active process, lifting, self-coating, and selectively concentrating small solid grains. Droplet evaporation leads to the formation of temporary liquid marbles and, as droplet volume reduces, particles of different wettabilities compete for water-air interfacial surface area. This can result in a sorting effect with self-organization of a mixed hydrophobic-hydrophilic aggregate into a hydrophobic shell surrounding a hydrophilic core.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: granular, soil, water repellence, hydrophobic, evaporation, superhydrophobic
Subjects: F100 Chemistry
F200 Materials Science
F300 Physics
F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Glen McHale
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2012 16:04
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 12:47

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