Highly efficient bacterial removal and disinfection by magnetic barium phosphate nanoflakes with embedded iron oxide nanoparticles

Junyi Song, Fan Zhang, Yuxiong Huang, Arturo A. Keller, Xiaoxiu Tang, Wanning Zhang, Weibin Jia, Jerome Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Magnetic barium phosphate nanoflakes with embedded iron oxide nanoparticles, Fe3O4@Ba3(PO4)2 (denoted FBP), were prepared through a facile and inexpensive two-step process. FBP was used to purify water heavily contaminated with E. coli (initial concentration of 5 × 108 CFU mL-1). FBP exhibited high removal efficiency (97%) within 30 min at 25 °C and pH 6. We investigated the effects of factors such as pH, ionic strength, co-existing anions, temperature, contact time, material dosage, and initial concentration of bacterial suspension, and developed optimized treatment conditions. The negligible effect of solution ionic strength on bacterial removal efficiency of FBP indicates its potential for microbial control even in high salinity water. Importantly, FBP can maintain a high bacterial removal efficiency of 87% after being reused for five cycles. FBP's magnetic properties allow an easy recovery from water. Several types of forces and mechanisms are thought to be involved in the bacterial removal process by FBP: electrostatic interactions, adhesion to FBP's planar surface, flocculation by polyvalent cations on FBP's surface, oxidation sterilization from Fe3O4 in FBP, irreversible cell structural damage by FBP's edges and corners, and magnetic aggregation under a magnetic field. Thus, FBP is a promising material for effectively treating water with high microbial contamination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1341-1349
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science: Nano
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the Jiangsu Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. SBK2017020336), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. KYZ201747), and the National Natural Science Funds of China (Grant No. 51402153). This work was in part supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under NSF-EF0830117. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agencies.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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