Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 10136–10147 | Cite as

The humic acid influenced the behavior and reactivity of Ni/Fe nanoparticles in the removal of deca-brominated diphenyl ether from aqueous solution

  • Yunqiang Yi
  • Juan Wu
  • Guoquan Tu
  • Dongye Zhao
  • Zhanqiang FangEmail author
  • Pokeung Eric Tsang
Research Article


The removal of contaminants by iron-based nanomaterials was inevitably affected by the natural organic matter (NOM), which is one of the most abundant material on earth and exists in natural waters. This study was performed to investigate the main influence of humic acid (HA, representing NOM) on the behavior and reactivity of Ni/Fe nanoparticles in the removal of deca-brominated diphenyl ether (BDE209). Generally, the inhibitory effect of HA on the removal of BDE209 by Ni/Fe showed greater significance with an increase of HA concentration. The zeta potential and sedimentation experiments showed that the HA enhanced the dispersion and stabilization of Ni/Fe particles; however, the removal of BDE209 was found to be inhibited. Moreover, the corrosion capacity of the Ni/Fe nanoparticles showed a positive correlation with the effect of HA on the reactivity of Ni/Fe nanoparticles. Meanwhile, typical quinone compounds in HA had an adverse effect on the removal of BDE209. Additionally, the competitive adsorption experiments and characterization illustrated that the adsorption of HA by Ni/Fe nanoparticles was superior to BDE209. Overall, it was proposed that the corrosion of Ni/Fe was reduced as the contact between the nanoparticles and H2O was hindered due to the surface of Ni/Fe was occupied by the adsorbed HA, and thus inhibited the reactivity of Ni/Fe nanoparticles in the removal of BDE209.


Natural organic matter Humic acid Ni/Fe bimetallic nanoparticles Nano zero valent iron Polybrominated diphenyl ethers 


Funding information

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.41471259). It was also supported by the Guangdong Province Environment Remediation Industry Technology Innovation Alliance (Grant No. 2017B090907032) and the Guangzhou External Science and Technology Cooperation Project (Grant No. 2016201604030002).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_4403_MOESM1_ESM.doc (28 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 28 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yunqiang Yi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Juan Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guoquan Tu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dongye Zhao
    • 3
  • Zhanqiang Fang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pokeung Eric Tsang
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Chemistry and EnvironmentSouth China Normal UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Guangdong Technology Research Center for Ecological Management and Remediation of Water SystemGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Environmental Engineering Program, Department of Civil EngineeringAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA
  4. 4.Department of Science and Environmental StudiesThe Education University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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