Synthesis of novel surface-modified hematite nanoparticles for the removal of cobalt-60 radiocations from aqueous solution

  • M. Hashemzadeh
  • A. Nilchi
  • A. H. HassaniEmail author
  • R. Saberi
Original Paper


In this study, novel surface-modified hematite nanoparticles (α-Fe2O3 NPs) were prepared at 250 °C using iron(III) chloride hexahydrate (FeCl3·6H2O) and oleic acid (C18H34O2) as raw materials for the removal of cobalt-60 radiocations from aqueous solutions by hydrothermal method. α-Fe2O3 NPs were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), scanning electron microscope, transmission electron microscopy and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller. According to the results, the average diameter and length of the synthesized α-Fe2O3 nanorods varied in the range of 30–60 and 400–700 nm, respectively, when the specific surface area was 31.29 m2/g. In batch experiments, the effect of some variables such as pH (2–10), adsorbent weight (0.5, 1, 1.5, 2.5, 3.75 and 5 mg in 25 mL solution), initial concentration of cobalt-60 radiocations (1, 10, 25, 50, 75 and 100 mg/L), temperature (25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 °C) and contact time (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 h) was investigated at 120 rpm. The optimized condition for cobalt-60 adsorption onto α-Fe2O3 NPs was obtained in pH 6.5, initial radiocation concentration of 1 mg/L, contact time of 2 h and nano-α-Fe2O3 sorbent concentration of 20 mg/L. On the other hand, the results indicated that adsorption of cobalt-60 onto the synthesized nano-α-Fe2O3 well fitted the Ho model as linear pseudo-second-order kinetics. In contrast, analysis of equilibrium data showed that the Redlich–Peterson isotherm model was suitable for describing cobalt-60 adsorption onto α-Fe2O3 NPs and the maximum uptake capacity was about 142.86 mg/g at 25 ± 1 °C according to Langmuir isotherm results. Meanwhile, the actual maximum adsorption capacity was about 99 mg/g. Therefore, it can be concluded that the synthesized novel surface-modified α-Fe2O3 NPs is an environment-friendly and a promising adsorbent for the removal of cobalt-60 radiocations from aqueous solutions.


Adsorption Cobalt-60 Hematite Hydrothermal Isotherm Kinetics studies Nanoparticle 



The authors would like to thank the authorities of Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute of Iran for equipping the laboratory, where this research work was carried out.


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Pollution, Faculty of Energy and Environment, Science and Research BranchIslamic Azad UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.Materials and Nuclear Fuel Research SchoolNuclear Science and Technology Research InstituteTehranIran

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