Nanostructured iron(III)-copper(II) binary oxide: a novel adsorbent for enhanced arsenic removal from aqueous solutions.

Research paper by Gaosheng G Zhang, Zongming Z Ren, Xiwang X Zhang, Jing J Chen

Indexed on: 11 Apr '13Published on: 11 Apr '13Published in: Water Research


To obtain a highly efficient and low-cost adsorbent for arsenic removal from water, a novel nanostructured Fe-Cu binary oxide was synthesized via a facile co-precipitation method. Various techniques including BET surface area measurement, powder XRD, SEM, and XPS were used to characterize the synthetic Fe-Cu binary oxide. It showed that the oxide was poorly crystalline, 2-line ferrihydrite-like and was aggregated with many nanosized particles. Laboratory experiments were performed to investigate adsorption kinetics, adsorption isotherms, pH adsorption edge and regeneration of spent adsorbent. The results indicated that the Fe-Cu binary oxide with a Cu: Fe molar ratio of 1:2 had excellent performance in removing both As(V) and As(III) from water, and the maximal adsorption capacities for As(V) and As(III) were 82.7 and 122.3 mg/g at pH 7.0, respectively. The values are favorable, compared to those reported in the literature using other adsorbents. The coexisting sulfate and carbonate had no significant effect on arsenic removal. However, the presence of phosphate obviously inhibited the arsenic removal, especially at high concentrations. Moreover, the Fe-Cu binary oxide could be readily regenerated using NaOH solution and be repeatedly used. The Fe-Cu binary oxide could be a promising adsorbent for both As(V) and As(III) removal because of its excellent performance, facile and low-cost synthesis process, and easy regeneration.