The effect of SDS surfactant on surface reaeration coefficient: a laboratory scale approach

Murilo de Souza Ferreira, Thiago Vinicius Ribeiro Soeira, Deusmaque Carneiro Ferreira, Mário Sergio da Luz, Cristiano Poleto, Julio Cesar de Souza Inácio Gonçalves


Surface reaeration coefficient (K2), which represents the transfer of oxygen at the air-water interface, is an important variable in aquatic ecosystems. K2 is influenced by several factors, including surfactants; furthermore, this coefficient is used in water-quality models, which requires its correct estimation. This study evaluated the effects of the surfactant Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS) on K2 in two different experimental systems. In a cylindrical reactor with a turbine-type mechanical stirrer, 15 reaeration experiments were carried out with SDS concentrations of 0.0; 0.25; 0.5; 1.0 and 1.5 mMol L-1 and stirrer rotation velocities of 25, 50 and 100 rpm. In a circular hydraulic channel, 8 reaeration experiments were carried out, in triplicate, with SDS concentrations of 0 and 1.5 mMol L-1 and agitation levels of Reynolds 4,500, 37,500; 49,200 and 54,000. In the reactor, regardless of the rotation velocity, the surfactant reduced K2 by 20%, due to a superficial film formation at the interface that made oxygen transfer difficult, due to a phenomenon known as “barrier effect”. In the channel, an approximate K2 reduction of 15% occurred at higher levels of water agitation. In the presence of surfactants, and at low levels of agitation, phenomena that increase K2 (i.e., Marangoni effect) may coexist with those that reduce K2 (i.e., barrier effect). We concluded that the presence of SDS in aquatic environments should be considered when estimating the surface reaeration coefficient, because this surfactant can contribute to uncertain K2 estimation.


surface reaeration, surfactants, water quality modeling.


Revista Ambiente & Água. ISSN:1980-993X DOI:10.4136/1980-993X

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