Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 18, pp 18392–18402 | Cite as

Removal of Acid Orange 51 by micro zero-valent iron under different operational conditions and evaluation of toxicity

  • Bouthaina Ghariani
  • Mouna Messaoud
  • Ibtihel Louati
  • Rim Mtibaà
  • Moncef Nasri
  • Tahar MechichiEmail author
Research Article


The removal of Acid Orange 51 (AO 51) dye in aqueous solution by microscale zero-valent iron (m-ZVI) was investigated. The m-ZVI powder was characterized granulometrically by laser particle sizer and morphologically by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The effects of pH, m-ZVI concentration, H2O2 addition, and dye concentration on the decolorization of AO 51 were experimentally investigated. Results indicate that the removal efficiency is independent from pH values, increases with increasing ZVI dosage, and decreases with dye concentration. With 1 g/L of m-ZVI, AO 51 was effectively removed without and with addition of 25 mM H2O2, yielding a decolorization efficiency of around 70% and 98%, respectively, at pH 3 within 60 min of reaction time. The involvement of ˙OH in oxidizing AO 51 was examined by measuring the removal rates based on ˙OH scavenging molecule. Finally, the disappearance of AO 51 was estimated by monitoring the UV–Vis spectral evolution after 120 min of treatment while the Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) was performed to verify the occurrence of organic sorption on m-ZVI surface. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) images before and after the reaction illustrated morphological changes on m-ZVI surface. The detoxification of the treated solution was demonstrated using phytotoxicity test.


Microscale zero-valent iron Acid Orange 51 Decolorization Adsorption Oxidation Phytotoxicity 



This work was supported by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Tunisia. The authors gratefully acknowledge the Materials Engineering Department of the National School of Engineering of Sfax for its help in performing the FT-IR analysis. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Enzyme Engineering and Microbiology, National School of Engineers of SfaxUniversity of SfaxSfaxTunisia
  2. 2.Laboratory of Industrial Chemistry, National School of Engineers of SfaxUniversity of SfaxSfaxTunisia
  3. 3.Laboratory of Biochemistry and Enzyme Engineering of Lipase, National School of Engineers of SfaxUniversity of SfaxSfaxTunisia

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