Removal of methyl orange from aqueous solution using bentonite-supported nanoscale zero-valent iron

Zheng-xian Chen, Xiao-ying Jin, Zuliang Chen, Mallavarapu Megharaj, Ravendra Naidu
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2011 November 15, 363 (2): 601-7
Zero-valent iron (ZVI) nanoparticles tend to agglomerate, resulting in a significant loss in reactivity. To address this issue, synthesized bentonite-supported nanoscale zero-valent iron (B-nZVI) was used to remove azo dye methyl orange (MO) in aqueous solution. Batch experiments show that various parameters, such as pH, initial concentration of MO, dosage, and temperature, were affected by the removal of MO. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) confirmed that B-nZVI increased their reactivity and a decrease occurred in the aggregation of iron nanoparticles for the presence of bentonite (B). Using B-nZVI, 79.46% of MO was removed, whereas only 40.03% when using nZVI after reacting for 10 min with an initial MO concentration of 100 mg/L (pH=6.5). Furthermore, after B-nZVI reacted to MO, XRD indicated that iron oxides were formed. FTIR showed that no new bands appeared, and UV-vis demonstrated that the absorption peak of MO was degraded. Kinetics studies showed that the degradation of MO fitted well to the pseudo first-order model. A degradation mechanism is proposed, including the following: oxidation of iron, adsorption of MO to B-nZVI, formation of Fe(II)-dye complex, and cleavage of azo bond. Finally, the removal rate of MO from actual wastewater was 99.75% when utilizing B-nZVI.

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