Amorphous iron sulfide nanowires as an efficient adsorbent for toxic dye effluents remediation

  • Bekelcha Tesfaye Gadisa
  • Richard Appiah-Ntiamoah
  • Hern Kim
Research Article


Environmental and health concerns arising from the toxicity of organic dye effluents is still the issue of the twenty-first century. In that regard, this study presents iron sulfide (FeS2) for its use in environmental remediation application. Amorphous phase FeS2 nanowires were synthesized by PVP-assisted solvothermal reaction and were characterized using XRD, XPS, BET, FE-SEM, and EDS techniques. The amorphous phase FeS2 is attractive from material synthesis point of view as its synthesis does not require delicate control over the process parameters, unlike the crystalline phase. The 1-D nanowire FeS2 had a high surface-to-volume ratio with negative zeta potential within a wide pH range. Having those surface and microstructural properties, these nanowires exhibited excellent adsorption property towards model organic dyes, Congo red (anionic), and methylene blue (cationic), with theoretical adsorption capacity of 118.86 and 48.82 mg g−1, respectively. Adsorption kinetics and isotherm models were implemented to study the adsorption processes at different adsorption conditions (pH, adsorbent loading, initial adsorbate concentration). The pH dependence of the adsorption and FT-IR analysis evidenced the prevalence of both physisorption and chemisorption during the adsorption of Congo red. Recyclability test proved the excellent performance of this amorphous FeS2 nanowire adsorbent for three consecutive cycles. Considering its ease of synthesis, excellent adsorption property, and cyclic performance, the as-prepared adsorbent could be a promising material for dye effluents treatment.


Amorphous FeS2 Organic dye removal Adsorbent Kinetics model Adsorption isotherms Congo red 



adsorption mixture initial dye concentration (ppm)


adsorption mixture dye concentration at any time t during adsorption (ppm)


PFO adsorption rate constant (min−1)


PSO adsorption rate constant (g mg−1 min−1)


intra-particle diffusion rate constant (mg g−1 min−0.5)


Langmuir adsorption isotherm rate constant (L mg−1)


Freundlich adsorption isotherm rate constant (mg1−1/n L1/n g−1)


Freundlich adsorption isotherm constant


adsorption capacity at equilibrium determined experimentally (mg g−1)


adsorption capacity at equilibrium determined by PFO or PSO model (mg g−1)


adsorption capacity of the adsorbent at time t during the adsorption (mg g−1)


maximal monolayer adsorption capacity (mg g−1)


volume of adsorption mixture (L)


adsorbent loading (dosage) (g L−1)


dye removal efficiencies



This work was supported by the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP).

Funding information

Grants were funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE) (No. 20174010201160) and by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF). A grant was funded by the Ministry of Education (No. 2009-0093816), Republic of Korea.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3811_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.1 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1117 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Energy Science and Technology, Smart Living Innovation Technology CenterMyongji UniversityYonginRepublic of Korea

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