Antimonate and antimonite adsorption by a polyvinyl alcohol-stabilized granular adsorbent containing nanoscale zero-valent iron

Xueqin Zhao, Xiaomin Dou, Dinesh Mohan, Charles U. Pittman, Yong Sik Ok, Xin Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)


Nanoscale zero-valent iron (Fe0) has attracted increasing attention for hazardous ion removal. In this study, nanoscale Fe0 was stabilized by polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and fabricated to granules for stability and functional excellence. Then Sb(III) and Sb(V) removal from water was evaluated. The effects of contact time, initial Sb(III) and Sb(V) concentrations, pH and co-existing anions on the Sb removal efficiency were systematically investigated. Antimony adsorption was rapid and followed a pseudo-second rate law. The maximum adsorption capacity of granular PVA-Fe0 was 6.99 and 1.65mg/g for Sb(III) and Sb(V), respectively. High concentration levels of co-existing anions inhibited antimony removal, but little inhibition would be expected at their natural environmental concentrations in water. The antimony uptake mechanism by PVA-Fe0 was investigated using XRD, XPS and FTIR characterizations. Fe0 was present in an acetalized PVA matrix before adsorption. It had been converted into magnetite (Fe3O4) after Sb(III) and Sb(V) adsorption. FTIR analyses confirmed the presence of active magnetite and magnetite's chemical binding to Sb(III) and Sb(V) after adsorption. The convenient handling properties combined with the good efficiency of PVA-Fe0 granules suggests they are promising adsorbents for antimony removal from contaminated water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-257
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China ( TD-JC-2013-3 ) and The Critical Patented Projects in the Control and Management of the National Polluted Water Bodies in China (No. 2012ZX07307-001-006 ).


  • Adsorption
  • Antimonate
  • Antimonite
  • Polyvinyl alcohol-stabilized nanoscale zero-valent iron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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