Authors Angotzi, M. S. ; Mameli, V. ; Cara, C. ; Borchert, K. ; Steinbach, C. ; Boldt, R. ; Schwarz, D. ; Cannas, C.
Title Meso- and macroporous silica-based arsenic adsorbents: effect of pore size, nature of the active phase, and silicon release
Date 13.10.2021
Number 59721
Abstract Arsenic pollution in ground and drinking water is a major problem worldwide due to the natural abundance of arsenic by dissolution from ground sediment or mining activities from anthropogenic activities. To overcome this issue, iron oxides as low-cost and non-toxic materials, have been widely studied as efficient adsorbents for arsenic removal, including when dispersed within porous silica supports. In this study, two head-to-head comparisons were developed to highlight the As(V)-adsorptive ability of meso- and macrostructured silica-based adsorbents. First, the role of the textural properties of a meso-(SBA15) and macrostructured (MOSF) silica support in affecting the structural-morphological features and the adsorption capacity of the active phase (Fe2O3) have been studied. Secondly, a comparison of the arsenic removal ability of inorganic (Fe2O3) and organic (amino groups) active phases was carried out on SBA15. Finally, since silica supports are commonly proposed for both environmental and biomedical applications as active phase carriers, we have investigated secondary silicon and iron pollution. The batch tests at different pH revealed better performance from both Fe2O3-composites at pH 3. The values of qm of 7.9 mg g-1 (53 mg gact-1) and 5.5 mg g-1 (37 mg gact-1) were obtained for SBA15 and MOSF, respectively (gact stands for mass of the active phase). The results suggest that mesostructured materials are more suitable for dispersing active phases as adsorbents for water treatment, due to the obtainment of very small Fe2O3 NPs (about 5 nm). Besides studying the influence of the pore size of SBA15 and MOSF on the adsorption process, the impact of the functionalization was analyzed on SBA15 as the most promising sample for As(V)-removal. The amino-functionalized SBA15 adsorbent (3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane, APTES) exhibited a qm of 12.4 mg g-1 and faster kinetics. Furthermore, issues associated with the release of iron and silicon during the sorption process, causing secondary pollution, were evaluated and critically discussed.
Publisher Nanoscale Advances
Wikidata Q109498168
Citation Nanoscale Advances 3 (2021) 6100-6113

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