Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 71, Issue 5, pp 2105–2113 | Cite as

Ionic liquid as a medium to remove iron and other metal ions: a case study of the North Kelantan Aquifer, Malaysia

  • Nur Hayati Hussin
  • Ismail Yusoff
  • Yatimah Alias
  • Sharifah MohamadEmail author
  • Nurul Yani Rahim
  • Muhammad Aqeel Ashraf
Original Article


An alternative iron removal treatment method using liquid-liquid extraction with the room-temperature ionic liquid, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide, as a solvent medium was studied. The chelating agent 1,10-phenanthroline was used as the extractant. The extraction of Fe(III) and Fe(II) was influenced significantly by the pH of the aqueous phase. The successful removal of iron was achieved; more than 95 % of the initial iron concentration was removed from the groundwater samples. However, detailed research is needed before the ionic liquid method can replace the conventional groundwater treatment protocol because the recovery rate was very low upon reuse (approximately 25–60 %). This low recovery was due to the ion exchange process; the appearance of anions from ionic liquids was also detected in groundwater samples.


Ionic liquid Liquid-liquid extraction 1,10-phenanthroline Iron Groundwater 



Financial support was provided by the University of Malaya Research Grant TA021-2012, HIR MOHE F00004-21001, Fundamental Research Grant Scheme THEQS-2010A, and Postgraduate Research Fund PS348/2009B.


  1. Alam MS, Inoue K (1997) Extraction of rhodium from other platinum group metals with Kelex 100 from chloride media containing tin. Hydrometallurgy 46:338–373Google Scholar
  2. APHA (1995) Standard method for the examination of water and wastewater, 19th edn. American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  3. Awadalla S, Noor IM (1990) Groundwater condition and development in the northern states of peninsular Malaysia. Groundwater and the environment. Proceedings of the Second International Groundwater Conference, 24–29 June 1990, Kota Bahru, MalaysiaGoogle Scholar
  4. Berbenni P, Pollice A, Canziani R, Stabile L, Nobili F (2000) Removal of iron and manganese from hydrocarbon-contaminated groundwaters. Bioresour Technol 74:109–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carda-Broch S, Bertho A, Armstrong DW (2003) Solvent properties of the 1-butyl-3-methyllimidazolium hexafluorophosphate ionic liquids. Anal Bional Chem 375:191–199Google Scholar
  6. Chapelle FH (2001) Ground-water microbiology and geochemistry, 2nd edn. John Wiley & Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Colter A, Mahler RL (2006) Iron in drinking water, PNW589. University of Idaho, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  8. Davis JH Jr (2004) Task-specific ionic liquids. Chem Lett 33:1072–1077CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dutta RK, Das B, Hazrika P, Saikia G, Kalita H, Goswani DC, Das HB, Dude SN (2007) Removal of iron from groundwater by ash: a systematic study of traditional method. J Hazard Mater 141:834–841CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ellis D, Bounchard C, Lantagne G (2000) Removal of iron and manganese from groundwater by oxidation and microfiltration. Desalination 130:255–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Farajzadeh MA, Bahram M, Zorita S, Mehr BG (2009) Optimization and application of homogeneous liquid-liquid extraction in preconcentration of copper(II) in a ternary solvent system. J Hazard Mater 161:1535–1543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Goto M, Shimijo K (2004) Solvent extraction and stripping of silver ions in room-temperature ionic liquids containing calixarenes. Anal Chem 76:5039–5044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goto M, Nakashima K, Kubota F, Maruyama T (2003) Ionic liquids as a novel solvent for lanthide extraction. Anal Sci 19:1097–1098CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Huddleston JG, Willauer HD, Swatloski RP, Visser AE, Rogers RD (1998) Room temperature ionic liquids as novel media for ‘clean’ liquid-liquid extraction. Chem Commun 16:1765–1766CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jordy JJ, Mikami K (2005) Ionic liquids. In: Mikami K (ed) Green reaction media in organic synthesis. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, pp 9–38Google Scholar
  16. Kasprzyk-Hordern B, Ziolek M, Nawrocki J (2003) Catalytic ozonation and methods of enhancing molecular ozone reactions in water treatment. Appl Catal B 46:639–669CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Li Z, Wei Q, Yuan R, Zhou X, Liu H, Shan H, Song Q (2007) A new room temperature ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-trimethylysilylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate as a solvent for extraction and preconcentration of mercury with determination by old vapor atomic absorption spectrometry. Talanta 71:68–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sharma P (2008) Ionic liquids: synthesis, characterization and applications in analytical chemistry. Masters Thesis, University of Texas at ArlingtonGoogle Scholar
  19. SMHB Sdn. Bhd. (2000). Kajian Sumber Air Negara 2000–2050 (Semenanjung Malaysia) Sector Report-Jilid 04: Chapter 7—Environmental Considerations, Chapter 8—Supply, Planning and Development Works, Chapter 9—Hydropower Development, Chapter 10—Groundwater StudiesGoogle Scholar
  20. Sofner B (1992) Groundwater monitoring and groundwater protection at the Geological Survey Department (GSD) of Malaysia, Technical Cooperation Project No. 88.2225.6. Geological Survey Department of Malaysia, Kuala LumpurGoogle Scholar
  21. Stepnowski P, Zaleska A (2005) Comparison of different advanced oxidation processes for the degradation of room temperature ionic liquids. J Photochem Photobiol A Chem 170:45–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Suratman S (1997) Groundwater protection in north Kelantan, Malaysia: an integrated mapping approach using modeling and GIS. Dissertation, University of Newcastle Upon TyneGoogle Scholar
  23. Suratman S (2010) Current and future R&D on groundwater resources in NAHRIM. Second Workshop on Groundwater in the Context of IWRM: Research and Development (R&D) and Capacity Building Needs in Groundwater Resource Management, 12–13 April 2010, Selangor, MalaysiaGoogle Scholar
  24. Vaaramaa K, Lehto J (2003) Removal of metals and anions from drinking water by ion exchange. Desalination 155:157–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Visser AE, Swatloski RP, Reichert WM, Mayton R, Sheff S, Wierzbicki A, Davis JH, Rogers RD (2002) Task-specific ionic liquids incorporating novel cations for the coordinating and extraction of Hg2+ and Cd2+: synthesis, characterization and extraction studies. Environ Sci Technol 36:2523–2529CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wei G-T, Yang Z, Chen C-J (2003) Room temperature ionic liquid as a novel medium for liquid/liquid extraction of metals ions. Anal Chim Acta 488:183–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. WHO (2008) Guidelines for drinking-water quality, 3rd edition incorporating the first and second addenda. vol 1: Recommendations. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  28. Zuo Y, Li DQ, Chen J, Liu Y (2008) The separation of Cerium(IV) from nitric acid solutions containing Thorium(IV) and Lanthanides(III) using pure [C8mim][PF6] as extracting phase. Ind Eng Chem Res 47:2349–2355CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nur Hayati Hussin
    • 1
  • Ismail Yusoff
    • 1
  • Yatimah Alias
    • 2
  • Sharifah Mohamad
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nurul Yani Rahim
    • 2
  • Muhammad Aqeel Ashraf
    • 1
  1. 1.Geology Department, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Chemistry Department, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

Personalised recommendations