Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, 229:357 | Cite as

Effect of Humic Acid on the Nitrate Removal by Strong Base Anion Exchanger Supported Nanoscale Zero-valent Iron Composite

  • Luyao Wang
  • Hongguang Zhou
  • Jie Liu
  • Jie Chen
  • Shiqiang Wei
  • Zhenmao Jiang


To probe the effect of common coexist substances on the nitrate removal by polymeric resin supported nanoscale zero-valent iron composite (D201-nZVI), humic acid (HA) was added into the nitrate removal system to elaborate the different interactions between each two and among all in the system including HA, nitrate, and D201-nZVI. The results showed that the effect of HA on the reduction of nitrate by D201-nZVI was concentration-dependent. At low HA concentration (< 5 mg/L), HA coating formed by the HA adsorption on the surface of the nZVI particles enhanced the dispersion of the particles, which led to a more evenly distribution of nZVI particles in the solution, and thus a higher nitrate reduction activity. When HA concentration was increased to 5 mg/L or more, the competitive adsorption of HA and NO3 on the surfaces of the D201-nZVI dominated, and the nitrate removal rate and ammonia nitrogen production were decreased. When the HA concentration reached to a further high level (> 20 mg/L), HA acted as an electron shuttle to accelerate the reduction of Fe(III) to Fe(II) in the D201-nZVI, and thus the nitrate reduction rate was accordingly enhanced. The ammonia production increased by 24.8% at HA concentration of 40 mg/L as compared with that of the control (without addition of HA). This research elucidated the interaction of HA within different HA concentration in the complicate system of anions removal by organic support-nanoscale metal particle composite, which may shade some new light on the potential application of nanoscale zero-valent materials in the practical remediation of natural water.


Nanoscale ZVI Humic acid Polymeric resins Nitrate removal Complexation 



This research is supported by the Natural Scientific Foundation of China (Grant No. 21207110 and 41771347) and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFD0800903).

Supplementary material

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11270_2018_3988_MOESM2_ESM.docx (30 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 29.6 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Key Laboratory of Agricultural Resources and Environment in Chongqing, College of Resource and EnvironmentSouthwest UniversityChongqingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of Land Engineering and Technology, Shaanxi Provincial Land Engineering Construction Group Co., Ltd.Xi’anChina

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