Sulfide-Modified NZVI (S-NZVI): Synthesis, Characterization, and Reactivity

  • Yiming SuEmail author
  • Gregory V. Lowry
  • David Jassby
  • Yalei Zhang


Sulfide-modified nanoscale zerovalent iron (S-NZVI) is attracting more and more attention due to its ease of production, improved reactivity with various pollutants (e.g., trichloroethene, diclofenac, cadmium, chromate), and most importantly, the selectivity to pollutants over water. Although there are some microstructural differences between nanoparticles derived from one-pot and two-step synthesis methods, with optimal S/Fe molar ratio (during preparation), both types of S-NZVI can achieve much higher pollutant removal efficacy than unmodified NZVI. For dechlorination, sulfidation not only inhibits the reaction between Fe(0) and H2O but creates a nucleophilic zone on the particle surface which is favorable for β-elimination. The latter change endows S-NZVI with capacity to degrade particular pollutants which previously cannot be removed by NZVI. For metal ion removal, besides the increased metal removal capacity, the chemical stability of metal-NZVI is also enhanced through sulfidation. Further, sulfidation is beneficial to heterogeneous Fenton-like reactions. With the presence of dissolved oxygen, S-NZVI generates much more hydroxyl radicals for pollutant degradation through a one-electron transfer pathway than NZVI. Although results from lab-scale studies are very encouraging, there is still lack of pilot-scale field test demonstrating the efficacy of S-NZVI in the field. Fate and transport of S-NZVI in subsurface and how S-NZVI (with pollutants) affects microbial community are still largely missing.


Nanoscale zerovalent iron Sulfidation Selectivity Synthesis Reactivity Particle life-time 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yiming Su
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gregory V. Lowry
    • 2
  • David Jassby
    • 1
  • Yalei Zhang
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Civil & Environmental EngineeringCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource ReuseTongji UniversityShanghaiChina

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