Synthesis and surface modification of magnetic Fe3O4@SiO2 core-shell nanoparticles and its application in uptake of scandium (III) ions from aqueous media

Abstract

The main objective of this work is to produce an eco-friendly and economically nano-adsorbent which can separate scandium metal ions Sc from a model aqueous phase prior to applying these adsorbents in industrial filed. The magnetic core-shell structure Fe3O4@SiO2 nanoparticles were synthesized by modified Stöber method and functionalized with (3-aminopropyl) triethoxysilane APTES as a coupling agent and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) as a ligand. Magnetic nano support adsorbents exhibit many attractive opportunities due to their easy removal and possibility of reusing. The ligand grafting was chemically robust and does not appreciably influence the morphology or the structure of the substrate. To evaluate the potential, the prepared hybrid nanoparticles were used as nano-adsorbent for Sc ions from model aqueous solutions due to the fact that rare earth elements (REEs) have a strong affinity for oxygen and nitrogen donors. The iron oxide nanoparticles were prepared by co-precipitation method at pH 10 and pH 11 to get the best morphology and nanoscale dimensions of iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles. The particle size, morphology, specific surface area, and surface modification were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM), and X-ray powder diffraction (XRD). The results showed that the Fe3O4 nanoparticles with average particle size of 15 ± 3 nm were successfully synthesized at pH 11, and 25 °C. Moreover, the prepared Fe3O4 nanoparticles were coated with amorphous SiO2 and functionalized with amino and carboxyl groups. The adsorption study conditions of Sc are as follows: the initial concentrations of the Sc model solution varied 10–50 mg/L, 20 mL volume, 20–80 mg of the Fe3O4@SiO2-COO adsorbent, pH range of 1–5, and 5 h contact time at 25 °C temperature. The adsorption equilibrium was represented with Langmuir, Freundlich, and Temkin isotherm models. Langmuir model was found to have the correlation coefficient value in good agreement with experimental results. However, the adsorption process followed pseudo-second-order kinetics.

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Data availability

All authors declare that all data and materials are complying with field standards.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Hungarian GINOP-2.2.1-15-2017-00106 project: Complex utilization of red mud and recovery of rare earth metals from red mud and the Nanotechnology Advanced Material Research Center, University of Technology, Baghdad, Iraq, for their contribution to testing and measurements.

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by Ali Dawood Salman, Tatjána Juzsakova, Rédey Ákos, Raheek I. Ibrahim, Mohammad A. Al-Mayyahi, Saja Mohsen, Thamer A. Abdullah, and Endre Domokos. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Ali Dawood Salman and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ali Dawood Salman or Raheek I. Ibrahim.

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Salman, A.D., Juzsakova, T., Ákos, R. et al. Synthesis and surface modification of magnetic Fe3O4@SiO2 core-shell nanoparticles and its application in uptake of scandium (III) ions from aqueous media. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-12170-4

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Keywords

  • Magnetic core-shell
  • Adsorption
  • EDTA
  • Nano-adsorbents