Application of Iron-Based Materials for Remediation of Mercury in Water and Soil

  • Yanyan Gong
  • Yao Huang
  • Mengxia Wang
  • Fangfei Liu
  • Tong ZhangEmail author
Focused Review


Mercury contamination in soil and water has become a major concern to environmental quality and human health. Among the existing remediation technologies for mercury pollution control, sorption via iron-based materials has received wide attention as they are environmental friendly and economic, and their reactivity is high and controllable through modulating the morphology and surface properties of particulate materials. This paper aimed to provide a comprehensive overview on environmental application of a variety of iron-based sorbents, namely, zero valent iron, iron oxides, and iron sulfides, for mercury remediation. Techniques to improve the stability of these materials while enhancing mercury sequestration, such as nano-scale size control, surface functionalization, and mechanical support, were summarized. Mechanisms and factors affecting the interaction between mercury and iron-based materials were also discussed. Current knowledge gaps and future research needs are identified to facilitate a better understanding of molecular-level reaction mechanisms between iron-based materials and mercury and the long-term stability of the immobilized mercury.


Mercury Heavy metal Soil remediation Water treatment Iron-based sorbents 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41503085, 41603099), the Natural Science Foundation of Tianjin (Grant No. 17JCYBJC23100), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanyan Gong
    • 1
  • Yao Huang
    • 1
  • Mengxia Wang
    • 1
  • Fangfei Liu
    • 2
  • Tong Zhang
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Environment, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution and HealthJinan UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Pollution Processes and Environmental Criteria, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Environmental Remediation and Pollution ControlNankai UniversityTianjinChina

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