Effect of synthesis conditions on nano-iron (hydr)oxide impregnated granulated activated carbon

Kiril Hristovski, Paul Westerhoff, Teresia Möller, Paul Sylvester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


The iron content, the distribution and morphology of iron (hydr)oxide-nanostructures, and the arsenic adsorption capacity of iron impregnated granulated activated carbon (Fe-GAC) differed depending upon the synthesis conditions used. Several Fe-GAC samples were synthesized with varying reaction contact times and reagent solution concentrations. The iron content of the Fe-GAC ranged from 0.5 to 16% Fe/g of dry media. The iron (hydr)oxide nanoparticles synthesized via the ferric/alcohol and ferrous/oxidation methods had spherical and teeth-like morphologies, respectively, based on focus ion beam/scanning electron microscope. The spherical nanoparticles had diameters between 20 and 100 nm and were distributed throughout the media, forming clusters in the pores of the Fe-GAC. In contrast, the teeth-like nanoparticles were about 30 nm long and 5 nm thick. They were distributed in the outer layers of the carbon. The arsenate affinities of the synthesized Fe-GAC samples were evaluated in batch adsorption experiments conducted in 10 mM NaHCO3-buffered ultrapure water at pH values ranging from 6.2 to 10.0. In general, when evaluated under the same conditions, the Fe-GAC prepared using the oxidation step and ferrous ions had almost an order of magnitude higher arsenate adsorption capacity than the Fe-GAC produced via direct precipitation from alcohol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-243
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009


  • Arsenate
  • Granulated activated carbon
  • Iron (hydr)oxide
  • Nanoparticle
  • Treatment
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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