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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2012, Article ID 608298, 5 pages
Research Article

Synthesis and Characterization of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles and Applications in the Removal of Heavy Metals from Industrial Wastewater

1School of Chemical & Life Sciences, Singapore Polytechnic, 500 Dover Road, Singapore 139651
2Advanced Material Technology Centre, Singapore Polytechnic, 500 Dover Road, Singapore 139651

Received 16 January 2012; Accepted 17 February 2012

Academic Editor: Stéphane Jobic

Copyright © 2012 Zuolian Cheng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study investigated the applicability of maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) nanoparticles for the selective removal of toxic heavy metals from electroplating wastewater. The maghemite nanoparticles of 60 nm were synthesized using a coprecipitation method and characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) equipped with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). Batch experiments were carried out for the removal of Pb2+ ions from aqueous solutions by maghemite nanoparticles. The effects of contact time, initial concentration of Pb2+ ions, solution pH, and salinity on the amount of Pb2+ removed were investigated. The adsorption process was found to be highly pH dependent, which made the nanoparticles selectively adsorb this metal from wastewater. The adsorption of Pb2+ reached equilibrium rapidly within 15 min and the adsorption data were well fitted with the Langmuir isotherm.