Comparison of the Efficiencies of Zero-Valent Iron Nanoparticles and Stabilized Iron Nanoparticles for Nitrate Reduction from Polluted Waters

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 MSc Graduate of Soil Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Ass. Prof. of Soil Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran

3 Assoc. Prof. of Soil Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran

4 Prof. of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran

Abstract

The present study was conducted to evaluate the feasibility of zero-valent iron nanoparticles (ZVIN) for the removal of nitrate from aqueous solutions. For this purpose, bare zero-valent iron nanoparticles (bare-ZVIN) and CMC-ZVIN were synthesized using the borohydride reduction method and their morphological characteristics were examined via scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier Transmission Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). The effects of pH of the aqueous solution, initial nitrate concentration, ZVIN concentration, and contact time on nitrate reduction were investigated as operational parameters and the kinetics of nitrate reduction was studied in batch experiments. The results showed that 93.65% of nitrate was removed by stabilized nanoparticles at pH=6 while non-stabilized nanoparticles at pH=2 were able to remove 85.55% of the nitrate.Furthermore, nitrate reduction was enhanced by increasing ZVIN concentration and contact time while it was decreased as a result of increasing initial nitrate concentration. The major product of nitrate reduction at an acidic pH was found to be ammonium; at an alkaline pH, however, nitrate was converted to nitrogen and nitrite production dropped to less than 2%. Kinetic analysis demonstrated that denitrification of nitrate by the nanoparticles fitted well with first-order and second-order reaction models. The results also demonstrated that the stabilized ZVI nanoparticles were more effective than bare-ZVIN for nitrate reduction in aqueous solutions.

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