Synthesis of nano-scale zero-valent iron-reduced graphene oxide-silica nano-composites for the efficient removal of arsenic from aqueous solutions

  • Peipei Liu
  • Qianwei Liang
  • Hanjin LuoEmail author
  • Wei Fang
  • Junjie Geng
Research Article


Design and synthesis of arsenic adsorbents with high performance and excellent stability has been still a significant challenge. In this study, we anchored nano-zero-valent iron (NZVI) on the surface of graphene-silica composites (GS) with high specific surface area, forming the NZVI/GS nano-composite. The prepared nano-materials were used to remove As(III) and As(V) through adsorption from aqueous solutions. The results indicated that NZVI particles were dispersed well on the surface of GS, and the NZVI/GS showed great potential to remove As(III) and As(V). Adsorption performance of NZVI/GS for As(III) and As(V) highly depended on the pH of solutions. The experimental data fitted well with the pseudo-second-order kinetic model and the Langmuir isotherm model. The calculated maximum adsorption capacities of NZVI/GS for As(III) and As(V) were up to 45.57 mg/g and 45.12 mg/g at 298 K, respectively, and the adsorption equilibrium could be reached within 60 min. The residual concentrations of As(III) and As(V) after treatment with 0.4 g/L NZVI/GS can meet with the drinking water standard of WHO when the initial concentrations were below 4 mg/L and 3 mg/L, respectively. Moreover, the as-prepared NZVI/GS had excellent anti-interference ability during the process of As removal in the presence of foreign ions. During the As removal process, As(III) was oxidized to As(V), which could be removed through adsorption by electrostatic attraction and complexation. These results indicated that the as-synthesized NZVI/GS composite is a promising adsorbent for the removal of arsenic from aqueous solutions.


Nano-zero-valent iron (NZVI) Graphene-silica As(III) As(V) Adsorption 


Funding information

We received financial support from the Social Development Fund of Guangdong Province (No.2017A020216018) and Guangzhou Science and Technology Project (No. 201904010319).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_6320_MOESM1_ESM.docx (33.3 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 34123 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peipei Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qianwei Liang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Hanjin Luo
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Wei Fang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Junjie Geng
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Environment and EnergySouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.The Key Lab of Pollution Control and Ecosystem Restoration in Industry Clusters, Ministry of EducationSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.School of Chemical & Biomolecular EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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