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Preparation of microscale zero-valent iron-fly ash-bentonite composite and evaluation of its adsorption performance of crystal violet and methylene blue dyes

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New microscale zero-valent iron adsorbent on fly ash and bentonite matrix for removal of crystal violet (CV) and methylene blue (MB) was synthesized through direct reduction of iron oxide using coke and palm kernel shell. The adsorbent was prepared as cylindrical shaped pellets to remove the CV and MB from the aqueous solution. Nitrogen adsorption-desorption isotherm and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies showed that the adsorbent is highly porous, and the iron particles are finely dispersed on the supporting material surfaces. FTIR and UV studies indicated that the C=C bonds in CV and C=N+(CH3)2 bonds in MB were affected in the adsorption process. MB switched to the reduced MBH2 species while CV was reduced to two small-size molecular compounds, explaining the higher CV adsorption in comparison to that of MB. The reduction of these compounds was coupled to the oxidation of Fe0 to Fe2O3 as revealed by XRD characterization of the adsorbent after adsorption. CV and MB adsorption isotherms fitted well with the Langmuir adsorption model. Different adsorption and reduction kinetic models were examined for the MB and CV removal processes. A better fit of the experimental data with the pseudo-second-order model was observed. CV and MB adsorption increased with temperature in the 30–50 °C range. At 50 °C, adsorption capacities of CV and MB reached to 89.9 and 42.8 mg/g, respectively. This new adsorbent showed a superior adsorption capacity for CV and MB when compared to other adsorbents.

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This work was supported by the State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment (No. SKLECRA2013FP12) and the Public Science and Technology Research Funds Projects of Ocean, China (201105020). The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their recommendations and comments. Also, Y. Wang would like to thank the State Scholarship Fund organized by the China Scholarship Council for offering her the scholarship during her joint Ph.D. studying in Mexico. And the authors are thankful to Aurora Robledo Cabrera for her technical support.

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Correspondence to Changsheng Peng.

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Responsible editor: Guilherme L. Dotto

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Wang, Y., López-Valdivieso, A., Zhang, T. et al. Preparation of microscale zero-valent iron-fly ash-bentonite composite and evaluation of its adsorption performance of crystal violet and methylene blue dyes. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 20050–20062 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-9426-2

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  • Microscale zero-valent iron
  • Matrix
  • Crystal violet
  • Methylene blue
  • Adsorption mechanism