Nano-scale metallic iron for the treatment of solutions containing multiple inorganic contaminants

Thomas Bligh Scott, IC Popescu, Richard Crane, Chicgoua Noubactep

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

113 Citations (Scopus)


Although contaminant removal from water using zero-valent iron nanoparticles (INP) has been investigated for a wide array of chemical pollutants, the majority of studies to date have only examined the reaction of INP in simple single-contaminant systems. Such systems fail to reproduce the complexity of environmental waters and consequently fail as environmental analogues due to numerous competitive reactions not being considered. Consequently there is a high demand for multi-elemental and site-specific studies to advance the design of INP treatment infrastructure. Here INP are investigated using batch reactor systems over a range of pH for the treatment of water containing multi-element contaminants specifically U, Cu, Cr and Mo, selected to provide site-specific analogues for leachants collected from the Lişava mine, near Oraviţa in South West Romania. Concurrently, a U-only solution was also analysed as a single-system for comparison.

Results confirmed the suitability of nano-Fe0 as a highly efficient reactive material for the aqueous removal of CrIV, CuII and UVI over a range of pH applicable to environmental waters. Insufficient MoVI removal was observed at pH >5.7, suggesting that further studies were necessary to successfully deploy INP for the treatment of geochemically complex mine water effluents. Results also indicated that uranium removal in the multi-element system was less than for the comparator containing only uranium.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280
Number of pages287
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2011


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