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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. ORCID: 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: 05 May 2023 02:40

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