Hydrothermal synthesis temperature induces sponge-like loose silica structure: A potential support for Fe2O3-based adsorbent in treating As(V)-contaminated water

Thanapha Numpilai, Kim Hoong Ng, Nutkamaithorn Polsomboon, Chin Kui Cheng, Waleeporn Donphai, Metta Chareonpanich, Thongthai Witoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Low cost Fe2O3-based sorbents with an exceptional selectivity toward the targeted As(V) pollutant have gained extensive attention in water treatment. However, their structural features often influence removal performance. In this respect, we present herein a rational design of silica-supported Fe2O3 sorbents with an enhanced morphological structure based on a simple temperature-induced process. Low-hydrothermal temperature synthesis (60 and 100 °C) provided a large silica-cluster size with a close packed structure (S-60 and S-100), contributing to an increase in mass transport resistance. Fe2O3/S-60 with 6.2-nm pore width silica achieved a maximum As(V) uptake capacity (qm) of only 3.5 mg g−1. Supporting Fe2O3 on S-100 with an approximately two-fold increase in the pore size (13 nm) did not lead to any evident enhancement in qe (3.7 mg g−1). However, expanding the pore window up to 22.6 nm (S-140) and 39.5 nm (S-180), along with changing from close-packed to sponge-like loose structures induced by high-temperature synthesis (140 °C and 180 °C), resulted in substantial increases in qm. Fe2O3/S-140 had 1.7 and 1.6 times higher qm (5.9 mg g−1) than Fe2O3/S-100 and Fe2O3/S-60, respectively. The highest qm (7.4 mg g−1) was achieved for Fe2O3/S-180, which was attributed to its relatively small-sized silica cluster and the largest cavities that facilitated easier access by As(V) to adsorbing sites.

Original languageBritish English
Article number136267
JournalChemosphere
Volume308
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Adsorption
  • Arsenic removal
  • Hydrothermal treatment temperature
  • Porous silica materials
  • Sponge-like structure

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