Carbothermal Synthesis of Aerosol-Based Iron-Carbon Nanocomposites for Adsorption and Reduction of Cr(VI)
Spherical iron-carbon nanocomposites were synthesized through a facile aerosol-based process and a subsequent carbothermal reduction. Carbothermal treatment reduces iron species to zero-valent iron rather than using expensive sodium borohydride. In addition, the high porosity of iron-carbon composites allows the entry of contaminants to reactive sites. These composites with nanoscale zero-valent iron particles incorporated in the carbon matrix exhibit synergistic adsorption and reaction for more efficient removal of Cr(VI) in water. Under identical experimental conditions, aerosol-assisted iron-carbon composites showed the highest removal efficiency compared to other materials including nanoscale zero-valent iron particles, aerosol-assisted carbon, and their physical mixture. Meanwhile, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis proved as-prepared iron-carbon composites could effectively transform Cr(VI) to much less toxic Cr(III). These iron-carbon composites can be designed at low cost, the process is amenable to scale-up for in situ application, and the materials are intrinsically benign to the environment.
KeywordsIron-carbon nanocomposite Adsorption Reduction Hexavalent chromium Aerosol-based synthesis
We wish to thank Dr. Yanqiang Huang at Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics for his assistance with the XPS analysis. Funding from the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities is gratefully acknowledged.
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