Batch removal of aqueous Cu2+ Ions using nanoparticles of zero-valent iron: a study of the capacity and mechanism of uptake
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In this study, nZVI prepared by borohydride reduction was applied for the removal of Cu2+ ions under a variety of experimental conditions. The uptake experiments investigated the effects of initial concentration, contact time, pH, and repetitive loading on the extent of retardation of Cu2+ ions. Within the applied conditions, the sorbent demonstrated fast uptake kinetics and outstanding fixation abilities up to an initial Cu2+ concentration of 200.0 mg/L. Partitioning of Cu2+ ions between liquid and solid phases demonstrated an isotherm of L-type. Within the studied conditions, the capacity of uptake was found to be 250 mg of Cu2+ per g of nZVI. According to X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) results, Cu2+ ions were sorbed primarily via a redox mechanism that resulted in the formation of Cu2O and Cu0. The contact of iron nanoparticles with aqueous media caused extensive formation of iron oxide. However, the material did not completely lose its removal capacity and was repeatedly applied at low concentrations for further uptake trials.