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Selective formation of copper nanoparticles from acid mine drainage using nanoscale zerovalent iron particles

Crane, R. A. and Sapsford, D. J. 2018. Selective formation of copper nanoparticles from acid mine drainage using nanoscale zerovalent iron particles. Journal of Hazardous Materials 347 , pp. 252-265. 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2017.12.014

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Nanoscale zerovalent iron (nZVI) has been investigated for the selective formation of Cu nanoparticles from acid mine drainage (AMD) taken from a legacy mine site in the UK. Batch experiments were conducted containing unbuffered (pH 2.67 at t=0) and pH buffered (pH <3.1) AMD which were exposed to nZVI at 0.1-2.0 g/L. Results demonstrate that nZVI is selective for Cu, Cd and Al removal (>99.9% removal of all metals within 1 h when nZVI ≥1.0 g/L) from unbuffered AMD despite the coexistent of numerous other metals in the AMD, namely: Na, Ca, Mg, K, Mn and Zn. An acidic pH buffer enabled similarly high Cu removal but maximum removal of only <1.5% and <0.5% Cd and Al respectively. HRTEM-EDS confirmed the formation of discrete spherical nanoparticles comprised of up to 68% wt. Cu, with a relatively narrow size distribution (typically 20-100 nm diameter). XPS confirmed such nanoparticles as containing Cu0 , with the Cu removal mechanism therefore likely via cementation with Fe0 . Overall the results demonstrate nZVI as effective for the one-pot and selective formation of Cu0 -bearing nanoparticles from acidic wastewater, with the technique therefore potentially highly useful for the selective upcycling of dissolved Cu in wastewater into high value nanomaterials.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the CC-BY Attribution 4.0 International license.
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0304-3894
Funders: Natural Environment Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 December 2017
Date of Acceptance: 5 December 2017
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2020 16:15

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