Jump to main content
Jump to site search


Ultra Small and Recyclable Zero-valent Iron Nanoclusters for Rapid and Highly Efficient Catalytic Reduction of P-nitrophenol in Water

Abstract

The creation of nanoscale zero-valent iron (NZVI) with dimensions ranging from 20-100 nm for the control of environmental pollutants has received substantial attention. However, due to strong van der Waals and magnetic attraction forces of ZVI, synthesizing ZVI nanoclusters with subnanometre size while retaining their surface activity and avoiding aggregation is challenging. Moreover, NZVI particles can be oxidized easily after the removal of contaminants even in anoxic environments, which makes the recovery and recycling of the particles very difficult. Here, for the first time, ultra small zero-valent iron (ZVI) nanoclusters are successfully prepared in a micelle assisted method under mild conditions, and can be recycled simply. It is found that by encapsulating Fe3+ within the micelles, controlling the release of sulfur ions (S2-) from thiourea and forming the FeS nanoparticles as intermediates, the ZVI nanoclusters are produced with precisely controlled size (< 1 nm). A plentiful of zero-valent iron nanoclusters have been assembled into quasi-spherical assemblages (with around 5 nm in size), in which most of the nanoclusters exist discretely because of being coated by entangled hydrocarbon chains of the surfactant. The ZVI nanoclusters (with a diameter of < 1 nm) exhibit excellent dispersibility and accessibility in solution, presenting significantly enhanced catalytic activity in the removal of p-nitrophenol from water. The as-prepared ZVI nanoclusters possess excellent stability and durability with the aid of NaBH4. The catalytic activity/reusability can be comparable to the commonly used noble metal catalysts.

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 13 Oct 2018, accepted on 30 Nov 2018 and first published on 03 Dec 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR08302A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
  •   Request permissions

    Ultra Small and Recyclable Zero-valent Iron Nanoclusters for Rapid and Highly Efficient Catalytic Reduction of P-nitrophenol in Water

    D. Shi, G. Zhu, X. Zhang, X. Zhang, X. Li and J. Fan, Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8NR08302A

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements