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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2016, Article ID 2813289, 10 pages
Research Article

Insights into Starch Coated Nanozero Valent Iron-Graphene Composite for Cr(VI) Removal from Aqueous Medium

1Chemical and Environmental Systems Modeling Research Group, National Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka
2Materials Technology Section, Industrial Technology Institute, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka
3Department of Physics, University of Colombo, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka

Received 23 April 2016; Revised 24 August 2016; Accepted 7 September 2016

Academic Editor: Jayavant L. Gunjakar

Copyright © 2016 Prasanna Kumarathilaka 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.


Embedding nanoparticles into an inert material like graphene is a viable option since hybrid materials are more capable than those based on pure nanoparticulates for the removal of toxic pollutants. This study reports for the first time on Cr(VI) removal capacity of novel starch stabilized nanozero valent iron-graphene composite (NZVI-Gn) under different pHs, contact time, and initial concentrations. Starch coated NZVI-Gn composite was developed through borohydrate reduction method. The structure and surface of the composite were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction spectroscopy (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), and point of zero charge (pHpzc). The surface area and pHpzc of NZVI-Gn composite were reported as 525 m2 g−1 and 8.5, respectively. Highest Cr(VI) removal was achieved at pH 3, whereas 67.3% was removed within first few minutes and reached its equilibrium within 20 min obeying pseudo-second-order kinetic model, suggesting chemisorption as the rate limiting process. The partitioning of Cr(VI) at equilibrium is perfectly matched with Langmuir isotherm and maximum adsorption capacity of the NZVI-Gn composite is 143.28 mg g−1. Overall, these findings indicated that NZVI-Gn composite could be utilized as an efficient and magnetically separable adsorbent for removal of Cr(VI).