Zero-valent iron: Impact of anions present during synthesis on subsequent nanoparticle reactivity

Kirsten Moore, Brady Forsberg, Donald R. Baer, William A. Arnold, R. Lee Penn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Zero-valent iron particles are an effective remediation technology for ground water contaminated with halogenated organic compounds. In particular, nanoscale zero-valent iron is a promising material for remediation because of its high specific surface area, which results in faster rate constants and more effective use of the iron. An aspect of iron nanoparticle reactivity that has not been explored is the impact of anions present during iron metal nanoparticle synthesis. Solutions containing chloride, phosphate, sulfate, and nitrate anions and ferric ions were used to generate iron oxide nanoparticles. The resulting materials were dialyzed to remove dissolved by-products and then dried and reduced by hydrogen gas at high temperature. The reactivity of the resulting zero-valent iron nanoparticles was quantified by monitoring the kinetics as well as products of carbon tetrachloride reduction, and significant differences in reactivity and chloroform yield were observed. The reactivity of nanoparticles prepared in the presence of sulfate and phosphate demonstrated the highest reactivity and chloroform yield. Furthermore, substantial variations in the solid-state products of oxidation (magnetite, iron sulfide, goethite, etc.) were also observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)889-896
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011


  • Ground water
  • Groundwater pollution
  • Iron
  • Iron (material)
  • Material
  • Nanotechnology
  • Organic matter
  • Remediation
  • Solvents


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