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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014, Article ID 518242, 10 pages
Research Article

Nanoscale Zero-Valent Iron for Sulfide Removal from Digested Piggery Wastewater

1Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tunghai University, Taichung City 407, Taiwan
2Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Leisure Studies, National University of Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung 811, Taiwan
3Department of Life Sciences, National University of Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung 811, Taiwan
4Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
5Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung 811, Taiwan

Received 29 August 2013; Revised 20 January 2014; Accepted 27 January 2014; Published 12 March 2014

Academic Editor: Yitzhak Mastai

Copyright © 2014 Sheng-Hsun Chaung 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.


The removal of dissolved sulfides in water and wastewater by nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI) was examined in the study. Both laboratory batch studies and a pilot test in a 50,000-pig farm were conducted. Laboratory studies indicated that the sulfide removal with nZVI was a function of pH where an increase in pH decreased removal rates. The pH effect on the sulfide removal with nZVI is attributed to the formation of FeS through the precipitation of Fe(II) and sulfide. The saturated adsorption capacities determined by the Langmuir model were 821.2, 486.3, and 359.7 mg/g at pH values 4, 7, and 12, respectively, for nZVI, largely higher than conventional adsorbents such as activated carbon and impregnated activated carbon. The surface characterization of sulfide-laden nZVI using XPS and TGA indicated the formation of iron sulfide, disulfide, and polysulfide that may account for the high adsorption capacity of nZVI towards sulfide. The pilot study showed the effectiveness of nZVI for sulfide removal; however, the adsorption capacity is almost 50 times less than that determined in the laboratory studies during the testing period of 30 d. The complexity of digested wastewater constituents may limit the effectiveness of nZVI. Microbial analysis suggested that the impact of nZVI on the change of microbial species distribution was relatively noticeable after the addition of nZVI.