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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering >> 2020, Volume 14, Issue 4 doi: 10.1007/s11783-020-1247-8

In situ synthesis of FeS/Carbon fibers for the effective removal of Cr(VI) in aqueous solution

School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Collaborative Innovation Center for Marine Biomass Fiber, Materials and Textiles of Shandong Province, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266071, China

Available online: 2020-04-20

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Abstract • FeS/carbon fibers were in situ synthesized with Fe-carrageenan hydrogel fiber. • The double helix structure of carrageenan is used to load and disperse Fe. • Pyrolyzing sulfate groups enriched carrageenan-Fe could easily generate FeS. • The adsorption mechanisms include reduction and complexation reaction. Iron sulfide (FeS) nanoparticles (termed FSNs) have attracted much attention for the removal of pollutants due to their high efficiency and low cost, and because they are environmentally friendly. However, issues of agglomeration, transformation, and the loss of active components limit their application. Therefore, this study investigates in situ synthesized FeS/carbon fibers with an Fe-carrageenan biomass as a precursor and nontoxic sulfur source to ascertain the removal efficiency of the fibers. The enrichment of sulfate groups as well as the double-helix structure in ι-carrageenan-Fe could effectively avoid the aggregation and loss of FSNs in practical applications. The obtained FeS/carbon fibers were used to control a Cr(VI) polluted solution, and exhibited a relatively high removal capacity (81.62 mg/g). The main mechanisms included the reduction of FeS, electrostatic adsorption of carbon fibers, and Cr(III)-Fe(III) complexation reaction. The pseudo-second-order kinetic model and Langmuir adsorption model both provided a good fit of the reaction process; hence, the removal process was mainly controlled by chemical adsorption, specifically monolayer adsorption on a uniform surface. Furthermore, co-existing anions, column, and regeneration experiments indicated that the FeS/carbon fibers are a promising remediation material for practical application.

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