Iron supported on bioinspired green silica for water remediation

Khalid M. Alotaibi, Lewis Shiels, Laure Lacaze, Tanya A. Peshkur, Peter Anderson, Libor Machala, Kevin Critchley, Siddharth V. Patwardhan, Lorraine T. Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


Iron has been used previously in water decontamination, either unsupported or supported on clays, polymers, carbons or ceramics such as silica. However, the reported synthesis procedures are tedious, lengthy (involving various steps), and either utilise or produce toxic chemicals. Herein, the use of a simple, rapid, bio-inspired green synthesis method is reported to prepare, for the first time, a family of iron supported on green nanosilica materials (Fe@GN) to create new technological solutions for water remediation. In particular, Fe@GN were employed for the removal of arsenate ions as a model for potentially toxic elements in aqueous solution. Several characterization techniques were used to study the physical, structural and chemical properties of the new Fe@GN. When evaluated as an adsorption platform for the removal of arsenate ions, Fe@GN exhibited high adsorption capacity (69 mg of As per g of Fe@GN) with superior kinetics (reaching 35 mg As per g sorbent per hr) – threefold higher than the highest removal rates reported to date. Moreover, a method was developed to regenerate the Fe@GN allowing for a full recovery and reuse of the adsorbent in subsequent extractions; strongly highlighting the potential technological benefits of these new green materials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-576
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Science
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2016


  • water remediation
  • green nanosilica materials
  • iron
  • water contamination
  • arsenate ion


Dive into the research topics of 'Iron supported on bioinspired green silica for water remediation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this