Versatile and biomass synthesis of iron-based nanoparticles supported on carbon matrix with high iron content and tunable reactivity

  • Dongmao ZhangEmail author
  • Sheldon Q. Shi
  • Charles U. PittmanJr.
  • Dongping Jiang
  • Wen Che
  • Zheng Gai
  • Jane Y. Howe
  • Karren L. More
  • Arockiasamy Antonyraj
Research Paper


Iron-based nanoparticles supported on carbon (FeNPs@C) have enormous potential for environmental applications. Reported is a biomass-based method for FeNP@C synthesis that involves pyrolysis of bleached wood fiber pre-mixed with Fe3O4 nanoparticles. This method allows synthesis of iron-based nanoparticles with tunable chemical reactivity by changing the pyrolysis temperature. The FeNP@C synthesized at a pyrolysis temperature of 500 °C (FeNP@C-500) reacts violently (pyrophoric) when exposed to air, while FeNP@C prepared at 800 °C (FeNP@C-800) remains stable in ambient condition for at least 3 months. The FeNPs in FeNP@C-800 are mostly below 50 nm in diameter and are surrounded by carbon. The immediate carbon layer (within 5–15 nm radius) on the FeNPs is graphitized. Proof-of-concept environmental applications of FeNPs@C-800 were demonstrated by Rhodamine 6G and arsenate (V) removal from water. This biomass-based method provides an effective way for iron-based nanoparticle fabrication and biomass utilization.


Iron nanoparticle Elemental iron Iron oxide nanoparticle Cellulose fiber Biomass 



Research supported by the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) and Shared Research Equipment (ShaRE) User Facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which are both sponsored by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy. D. Z is thankful for support from NSF (EPS-0903787).

Supplementary material

11051_2012_1023_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 2705 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dongmao Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sheldon Q. Shi
    • 2
  • Charles U. PittmanJr.
    • 1
  • Dongping Jiang
    • 1
  • Wen Che
    • 2
  • Zheng Gai
    • 3
  • Jane Y. Howe
    • 3
  • Karren L. More
    • 3
  • Arockiasamy Antonyraj
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryMississippi State UniversityMississippi StateUSA
  2. 2.Mechanical and Energy EngineeringUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA
  3. 3.Center for Nanophase Materials SciencesOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA
  4. 4.Center for Advanced Vehicular SystemsMississippi State UniversityMississippi StateUSA

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