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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2020, Vol. 14 Issue (4) : 68
In situ synthesis of FeS/Carbon fibers for the effective removal of Cr(VI) in aqueous solution
Rongrong Zhang, Daohao Li, Jin Sun, Yuqian Cui(), Yuanyuan Sun()
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Collaborative Innovation Center for Marine Biomass Fiber, Materials and Textiles of Shandong Province, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266071, China
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• FeS/carbon fibers were in situ synthesized with Fe-carrageenan hydrogel fiber.

• The double helix structure of carrageenan is used to load and disperse Fe.

• Pyrolyzing sulfate groups enriched carrageenan-Fe could easily generate FeS.

• The adsorption mechanisms include reduction and complexation reaction.

Iron sulfide (FeS) nanoparticles (termed FSNs) have attracted much attention for the removal of pollutants due to their high efficiency and low cost, and because they are environmentally friendly. However, issues of agglomeration, transformation, and the loss of active components limit their application. Therefore, this study investigates in situ synthesized FeS/carbon fibers with an Fe-carrageenan biomass as a precursor and nontoxic sulfur source to ascertain the removal efficiency of the fibers. The enrichment of sulfate groups as well as the double-helix structure in ι-carrageenan-Fe could effectively avoid the aggregation and loss of FSNs in practical applications. The obtained FeS/carbon fibers were used to control a Cr(VI) polluted solution, and exhibited a relatively high removal capacity (81.62 mg/g). The main mechanisms included the reduction of FeS, electrostatic adsorption of carbon fibers, and Cr(III)-Fe(III) complexation reaction. The pseudo-second-order kinetic model and Langmuir adsorption model both provided a good fit of the reaction process; hence, the removal process was mainly controlled by chemical adsorption, specifically monolayer adsorption on a uniform surface. Furthermore, co-existing anions, column, and regeneration experiments indicated that the FeS/carbon fibers are a promising remediation material for practical application.

Keywords Carrageenan      FeS      Double-helix structure      Hexavalent chromium     
Corresponding Author(s): Yuqian Cui,Yuanyuan Sun   
Issue Date: 20 April 2020
 Cite this article:   
Rongrong Zhang,Daohao Li,Jin Sun, et al. In situ synthesis of FeS/Carbon fibers for the effective removal of Cr(VI) in aqueous solution[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2020, 14(4): 68.
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Rongrong Zhang
Daohao Li
Jin Sun
Yuqian Cui
Yuanyuan Sun
Fig.1  Scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) mappings for different materials (A-C: FeS-700, FeS-800, FeS-900; D-F:the magnified figures of FeS-700, FeS-800, FeS-900; G: the elements mapping of FeS-900 after reaction).
Fig.2  Nitrogen adsorption/desorption isotherms (A), pore size distribution (B), X-ray diffraction (XRD) (C) and magnetization hysteresis of FeS-700, FeS-800 and FeS-900 (D).
Sample Surface area (m2/g) Pore volume (cm3/g) Smicro/Stoal
Vmicro/Vtoal (%) Dp(nm)
SBET SExt Smicro Vtoal Vmicro
FeS-700 282.88 14.17 268.71 0.1738 0.1439 94.99 82.79 2.5647
FeS-800 329.96 25.13 304.83 0.1973 0.1658 84.03 92.38 2.4864
FeS-900 368.99 35.28 333.71 0.2359 0.1869 79.23 90.44 2.6765
Tab.1  Physical properties of different samples
Fig.3  The effect of reaction time (A), pseudo-first-order fitting (B), pseudo-second-order fitting (C), the effect of initial concentration (D), Langmuir (E) and Freundlich adsorption isotherms (F) of Cr(VI) for different samples.
Sample Pseudo-first-order Pseudo-second-order
Qe (mg/g) k1 (h–1) R2 Qe (mg/g) k2 (h–1) R2
FeS-700 19.94 0.292 0.664 20.06 0.263 0.980
FeS-800 59.85 0.343 0.956 60.12 0.083 0.998
FeS-900 80.03 0.565 0.848 80.25 0.126 0.998
Tab.2  Fitting result of kinetic models for different samples
Sample Langmuir Freundlich
Qe (mg/g) KL(L/mg) R2 Kf (mg1–nLn/g) n R2
FeS-700 25.11 0.038 0.986 2.200 2.596 0.945
FeS-800 68.23 0.015 0.999 4.120 2.124 0.962
FeS-900 81.62 0.012 0.999 1.632 1.669 0.934
Tab.3  Fitting result of adsorption isotherms for different samples.
Fig.4  Effect of pH (A), pH change after reaction (B), competitive anions (C) and regeneration study (D) of the adsorption of Cr(VI) for different samples.
Fig.5  Effect of different operating conditions on the breakthrough curves for Cr(VI) removal by FeS/carbon fibers using a fixed-bed column. Effect of the adsorbents type (A), height of adsorbents (B) and initial Cr(VI) concentration (C) and flow rate (D) on Cr(VI) removal.
Fig.6  X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) spectrum of FeS-900 before and after adsorption.
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