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Journal of Materials
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3094606, 13 pages
Research Article

Well-Dispersed Nanoscale Zero-Valent Iron Supported in Macroporous Silica Foams: Synthesis, Characterization, and Performance in Cr(VI) Removal

College of Chemistry, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jie Yang

Received 8 May 2017; Revised 4 July 2017; Accepted 30 July 2017; Published 10 September 2017

Academic Editor: Eric Guibal

Copyright © 2017 Chaoxia Zhao 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.


Well-dispersed nanoscale zero-valent iron (NZVI) supported inside the pores of macroporous silica foams (MOSF) composites (Mx-NZVI) has been prepared as the Cr(VI) adsorbent by simply impregnating the MOSF matrix with ferric chloride, followed by the chemical reduction with NaHB4 in aqueous solution at ambient atmosphere. Through the support of MOSF, the reactivity and stability of NZVI are greatly improved. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) results show that NZVI particles are spatially well-dispersed with a typical core-shell structure and supported inside MOSF matrix. The N2 adsorption-desorption isotherms demonstrate that the Mx-NZVI composites can maintain the macroporous structure of MOSF and exhibit a considerable high surface area (503 m2·g−1). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements confirm the core-shell structure of iron nanoparticles composed of a metallic Fe0 core and an Fe(II)/Fe(III) species shell. Batch experiments reveal that the removal efficiency of Cr(VI) can reach 100% when the solution contains 15.0 mg·L−1 of Cr(VI) at room temperature. In addition, the solution pH and the composites dosage can affect the removal efficiency of Cr(VI). The Langmuir isotherm is applicable to describe the removal process. The kinetic studies demonstrate that the removal of Cr(VI) is consistent with pseudo-second-order kinetic model.