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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1734643, 9 pages
Research Article

Bimetallic Oxide Nanohybrid Synthesized from Diatom Frustules for the Removal of Selenium from Water

Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Somenath Mitra

Received 15 July 2017; Revised 23 November 2017; Accepted 27 November 2017; Published 31 December 2017

Academic Editor: Amit Bhatnagar

Copyright © 2017 Megha Thakkar and Somenath Mitra. 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.


Frustules or the rigid amorphous silica cell wall of unicellular, photosynthetic microalgae with unique porous architecture has been used to synthesize a composite by immobilizing zirconium and iron oxides on its surface and in the pores. This was effective for removal of Se from water, which is an emerging contaminant that is a micronutrient at low concentrations but toxic at high concentrations. The adsorption isotherms followed both Langmuir and Freundlich models, and the composite was regenerable. The Langmuir maximum adsorption capacity for Se(IV) was 227 mg/g, which is among the highest ever reported. The research findings highlight the synthesis of bimetallic composite as well as the potential of diatoms as hosts for nanomaterials for use in water treatment.