A green method to synthesize flowerlike Fe(OH)3 microspheres for enhanced adsorption performance toward organic and heavy metal pollutants

Xiaole Zhao , Yingchun Su , Shubin Li , Yajun Bi , Xiaojun Han


Received October 10, 2017,Revised , Accepted January 11, 2018, Available online February 03, 2018

Volume 30,2018,Pages 47-57

Dyestuffs and heavy metal ions in water are seriously harmful to the ecological environment and human health. Three-dimensional (3D) flowerlike Fe(OH)3 microspheres were synthesized through a green yet low-cost injection method, for the removal of organic dyes and heavy metal ions. The Fe(OH)3 microspheres were characterized by thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques. The adsorption kinetics of Congo Red (CR) on Fe(OH)3 microspheres obeyed the pseudo-second-order model. Cr6 + and Pb2 + adsorption behaviors on Fe(OH)3 microspheres followed the Langmuir isotherm model. The maximum adsorption capacities of the synthesized Fe(OH)3 were 308, 52.94, and 75.64 mg/g for CR, Cr6 +, and Pb2 + respectively. The enhanced adsorption performance originated from its surface properties and large specific surface area of 250 m2/g. The microspheres also have excellent adsorption stability and recyclability. Another merit of the Fe(OH)3 material is that it also acts as a Fenton-like catalyst. These twin functionalities (both as adsorbent and Fenton-like catalyst) give the synthesized Fe(OH)3 microspheres great potential in the field of water treatment.

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