Nano-Fe0 Immobilized onto Functionalized Biochar Gaining Excellent Stability during Sorption and Reduction of Chloramphenicol via Transforming to Reusable Magnetic Composite

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Journal Article
Chemical Engineering Journal, 2017, 322 pp. 571 - 581
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The widely used nanosized zero-valent iron (nZVI or nFe0) particles and their composite material lose reductive nature during application, and the stability of transformed composite material for repeatable application is not addressed to date. To shed light on this, nZVI was synthesized from scrap material and immobilized on functionalized biochar (fBC) to prepare nZVI-fBC composite. Comparative study between nZVI and nZVI-fBC composite on the removal of chlorinated antibiotic chloramphenicol from different water types was conducted. The results suggested that nZVI was solely responsible for reduction of chloramphenicol. Whereas nZVI-fBC could be applied once, within a few hours, for the reduction of chloramphenico (29–32.5%) and subsequently sorption (67.5–70.5%) by transforming to a fully magnetic composite (nFe3O4-fBC) gaining stability with synergistic sorption performance. In both cases, two reduction by-products were identified namely 2-chloro-N-[1,3-dihydroxy-1-(4-aminophenyl)propan-2-yl]acetamide (m/z 257) and dechlorinated N-[1,3-dihydroxy-1-(4-aminophenyl)propan-2-yl]acetamide (m/z 223). The complete removal of 3.1 µM L−1 of chloramphenicol in different water was faster by nZVI-fBC (∼12–15 h) than by stable nFe3O4-fBC composite (∼18 h). Both nZVI-fBC and nFe3O4-fBC composites removed chloramphenicol in the order: deionized water > lake water > synthetic wastewater. nFe3O4-fBC showed excellent reusability after regeneration, with the regenerated nFe3O4-fBC composite (after 6 cycles of application) showing significant performance for methylene blue removal (∼287 mg g−1). Therefore, the transformed nFe3O4-fBC composite is a promising and reusable sorbent for the efficient removal of organic contaminants.
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