Iron-based nanoparticles prepared from yerba mate extract. Synthesis, characterization and use on chromium removal

Fabiana E. García, Alejandro M. Senn, Jorge M. Meichtry, Thomas Bligh Scott, Huw Pullin, Ana G. Leyva, Emilia B. Halac, Cinthia P. Ramos, Joaquín Sacanell, M. Mizrahi, Félix G. Requejo, Marta I. Litter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Iron-based nanoparticles were synthesized by a rapid method at room temperature using yerba mate (YM) extracts with FeCl 3 in different proportions. Materials prepared from green tea (GT) extracts were also synthesized for comparison. These materials were thoroughly characterized by chemical analyses, XRD, magnetization, SEM-EDS, TEM-SAED, FTIR, UV–Vis, Raman, Mössbauer and XANES spectroscopies, and BET area analysis. It was concluded that the products are nonmagnetic iron complexes of the components of the extracts. The applicability of the materials for Cr(VI) (300 μM) removal from aqueous solutions at pH 3 using two Cr(VI):Fe molar ratios (MR), 1:3 and 1:0.5, has been tested. At Cr(VI):Fe MR = 1:3, the best YM materials gave complete Cr(VI) removal after two minutes of contact, similar to that obtained with commercial nanoscale zerovalent iron (N25), with dissolved Fe(II), and with a likewise prepared GT material. At a lower Cr(VI):Fe MR (1:0.5), although Cr(VI) removal was not complete after 20 min of reaction, the YM nanoparticles were more efficient than N25, GT nanoparticles and Fe(II) in solution. The results suggest that an optimal Cr(VI):Fe MR ratio could be reached when using the new YM nanoparticles, able to achieve a complete Cr(VI) reduction, and leaving very low Cr and Fe concentrations in the treated solutions. The rapid preparation of the nanoparticles would allow their use in removal of pollutants in soils and groundwater by direct injection of the mixture of precursors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Early online date19 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Green tea
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Iron nanoparticles
  • Yerba mate


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