Continuous Flow Process for Removal and Recovery of Water Contaminants with Magnetic Nanocomposites

  • Teagan LeitzkeEmail author
  • Jerome P. DowneyEmail author
  • David Hutchins
  • Brian St. Clair
Conference paper
Part of the The Minerals, Metals & Materials Series book series (MMMS)


Many natural water sources and industrial wastewaters contain low concentrations of metals and other contaminants. Therefore, an efficient and economical method for low-level contaminant removal and recovery is needed. The purpose of the research is to improve and modify a newly developed continuous flow ion exchange process for expansion to a variety of non-industrial applications, including removal of metal ions from the Upper Clark Fork River Watershed. The process involves a dual column reactor designed to capture metal ions using 90–105 μm spherical, functionalized silica gel coated magnetite particles, targeting copper ions with future expansion to additional metals, such as manganese and zinc. The optimization of nanoparticle synthesis and dispersion is ongoing with variables that include pH, metal ion concentration, nanoparticle concentration, and temperature. Additional focus involves maximizing contaminant capture, with current values of 0.19 mmol Cu/g Fe3O4 for magnetite and 0.25 mmol Cu/g Fe3O4 for silica-coated magnetite.


Magnetite nanoparticles Nanocomposites Wastewater treatment Ion exchange Adsorption 



This material is based on work supported in part by the National Science Foundation EPSCoR Cooperative Agreement OIA-1757351. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Montana Technological UniversityButteUSA

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