Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 3932–3945 | Cite as

Optimizing the removal of nitrate from aqueous solutions via reduced graphite oxidesupported nZVI: synthesis, characterization, kinetics, and reduction mechanism

  • Shengyan PuEmail author
  • Daili Deng
  • Kexin Wang
  • Miaoting Wang
  • Ying Zhang
  • Lixiang Shangguan
  • Wei Chu
Research Article


Graphene has been considered an ideal absorbent and excellent carrier for nanoparticles. Reduced graphite oxide (rGO)–supported nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI@rGO) is an effective material for removing nitrate from water. nZVI@rGO nanocomposites were prepared by a liquid-phase reduction method and then applied for nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) removal in aqueous solution under anaerobic conditions. The experimental results showed that the stability and activity of the nZVI@rGO nanocomposites were enhanced compared with those of nZVI. The influence of the reaction conditions, including the initial concentration of NO3-N, coexisting anions, initial pH of the solution, and water temperature, on NO3-N removal was also investigated by batch experiments. In a neutral or slightly alkaline environment, 90% of NO3-N at a concentration less than 50 mg/L could be removed within 1 h, and nitrogen production was approximately 15%. The process of NO3-N removal by nZVI@rGO fits well with different reaction kinetics. In addition, magnetite was the main oxidation product. RGO-supported nZVI might become a promising filler in the permeable reactive barrier process for groundwater remediation.


Nitrate Reduced graphite oxide Denitrification nZVI@rGO Groundwater remediation 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41772264, 51408074), the Applied Basic Research Programs of Science and Technology Foundation of Sichuan Province (18YYJC1745), and the Research Fund of State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment Protection (SKLGP2019Z009). Prof. Chu is supported by the Shenzhen Basic Research Funding Scheme 2018 (JCYJ20170818105109311).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3813_MOESM1_ESM.docx (222 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 222 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shengyan Pu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Daili Deng
    • 1
  • Kexin Wang
    • 1
  • Miaoting Wang
    • 1
  • Ying Zhang
    • 1
  • Lixiang Shangguan
    • 1
  • Wei Chu
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment ProtectionChengdu University of TechnologyChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environment EngineeringThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong KongPeople’s Republic of China

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