Preparation and characterization of iron-copper binary oxide and its effective removal of antimony(III) from aqueous solution

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

An Fe-Cu binary oxide was fabricated through a simple co-precipitation process, and was used to remove Sb(III) from aqueous solution. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray and N2 adsorption–desorption measurements demonstrated that the Fe-Cu binary oxide consisted of poorly ordered ferrihydrite and CuO, and its specific surface area was higher than both iron oxide and copper oxide. A comparative test indicated that Fe/Cu molar ratio of prepared binary oxide greatly influenced Sb(III) removal and the optimum Fe/Cu molar ratio was about 3/1. Moreover, a maximum adsorption capacity of 209.23 mg Sb(III)/g Fe-Cu binary oxide at pH 5.0 was obtained. The removal of Sb(III) by Fe-Cu binary oxide followed the Freundlich adsorption isotherm and the pseudo-second-order kinetics in the batch study. The removal of Sb(III) was not sensitive to solution pH. In addition, the release of Fe and Cu ions to water was very low when the pH was greater than 6.0. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis confirmed that the Sb(III) adsorbed on the surface was not oxidized to Sb(V).

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