Modeling arsenic removal by nanoscale zero-valent iron


Arsenic removal by nanoscale zero-valent iron (NZVI) was modeled using the USGS geochemical program PHREEQC. The Dzombak and Morel adsorption model was used. The adsorption of As(V) onto NZVI was assumed to happen because of the hydrous ferric oxide (Hfo) which was the surface oxide for the model. The model predicted results were compared with the experimental data. While the experimental study reported that 99.57% arsenic removal by NZVI, the model predicted 99.82% removal which is about 0.25% variation. All the arsenic species have also been predicted to be significantly removed by adsorption onto NZVI surface. The effect of pH on As(V) removal efficiency was also evaluated using the model and it was found that above point-of-zero-charge (PZC), the adsorption of As(V) decreases with the increase of pH. The authors conclude that PHREEQC can be used to model contaminant adsorption by nanomaterials.

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A part of the work was done with funding provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF grant no. CBET- 1707093, PI: Bezbaruah). Umma Rashid was partially supported by the North Dakota Water Resources Research Institute (NDWRRI) through a fellowship.

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Correspondence to Achintya N. Bezbaruah.

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Rashid, U.S., Saini-Eidukat, B. & Bezbaruah, A.N. Modeling arsenic removal by nanoscale zero-valent iron. Environ Monit Assess 192, 110 (2020).

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  • Nanomaterials
  • Dzombek and Morel
  • Arsenic
  • Zero-valent iron
  • Hydrous ferric oxide