Due to strong reduction features stemming from their nano-dimensionality, zero-valent iron nanoparticles are heavily exploited in environmental technologies for treatment of various types of water (e.g., underground water, surface water, waste water, drinking water) and soils. Besides particle dimensions, their size distribution, and their surface chemistry, the nanoparticles morphological factor is considered as another key feature that drives activity and stability of zero-valent iron nanoparticles. In our recent work published in ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, we described in details the material synthesis, physical properties, and superior metal-entrapment proclivity of the new generation of zero-valent iron nanoparticle architecture, obtained via a morphologically controlled solid-state process. The developed synthetic approach gives precisely shaped and narrowly polydispersed condensed spherical superstructures of zero-valent iron nanoparticles. The capability of this advanced 3D arrangement of zero-valent iron nanoparticles to safely remove harmful pollutants was validated against copper salt (CuSO4) dispersed in water, taken as a model element for d-block metal contaminations. It is clearly shown that the pollutant sequestration by zero-valent iron nanoparticles with 3D arrangement is boosted by both processes, metal adsorption (Cu2+) and metal reduction, featuring an efficiency in the Cu removal much higher compared to all previously known systems reported in the literature. Furthermore, the work demonstrates the importance of tailoring the material’s morphological variable as the key element for the engineering of highly effective and sustainable systems to be applied in water remediation technologies.
Slovák, P.; Malina, O.; Kašlík, J.; Tomanec, O.; Tuček, J.; Petr, M.; Filip, J.; Zoppellaro, G.; Zbořil, R. Zero-Valent Iron Nanoparticles with Unique Spherical 3D Architectures Encode Superior Efficiency in Copper Entrapment. ACS Sustain. Chem. Eng. 2016, 4 (5), 2748-2753. DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.6b00242