Modeling arsenic removal by nanoscale zero-valent iron

  • Umma S. Rashid
  • Bernhardt Saini-Eidukat
  • Achintya N. BezbaruahEmail author


Arsenic removal by nanoscale zero-valent iron (NZVI) was modeled using the USGS geochemical program PHREEQC. The Dzombak and Morel adsorption model was used. The adsorption of As(V) onto NZVI was assumed to happen because of the hydrous ferric oxide (Hfo) which was the surface oxide for the model. The model predicted results were compared with the experimental data. While the experimental study reported that 99.57% arsenic removal by NZVI, the model predicted 99.82% removal which is about 0.25% variation. All the arsenic species have also been predicted to be significantly removed by adsorption onto NZVI surface. The effect of pH on As(V) removal efficiency was also evaluated using the model and it was found that above point-of-zero-charge (PZC), the adsorption of As(V) decreases with the increase of pH. The authors conclude that PHREEQC can be used to model contaminant adsorption by nanomaterials.


Nanomaterials PHREEQC Dzombek and Morel Arsenic Zero-valent iron Hydrous ferric oxide 


Funding information

A part of the work was done with funding provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF grant no. CBET- 1707093, PI: Bezbaruah). Umma Rashid was partially supported by the North Dakota Water Resources Research Institute (NDWRRI) through a fellowship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF and NDWRRI.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nanoenvirology Research Group, Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringNorth Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeosciencesNorth Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA

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