Crystallization-based upcycling of iron oxyhydroxide for efficient arsenic capture in contaminated soils

Yun Sik Lee, Bum Chul Park, Dae Beom Lee, Hyun Gi Min, Min Suk Kim, Sung Chul Kim, Sung Ok Won, June Wee, Eunji Chae, Cheolho Sim, Youngeun Kim, Jeong Gyu Kim, Young Keun Kim, Kijong Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Arsenic (As)-contaminated soil inevitably exists in nature and has become a global challenge for a sustainable future. Current processes for As capture using natural and structurally engineered nanomaterials are neither scientifically nor economically viable. Here, we established a feasible strategy to enhance As-capture efficiency and ecosystem health by structurally reorganizing iron oxyhydroxide, a natural As stabilizer. We propose crystallization to reorganize FeOOH-acetate nanoplatelets (r-FAN), which is universal for either scalable chemical synthesis or reproduction from natural iron oxyhydroxide phases. The r-FAN with wide interlayer spacing immobilizes As species through a synergistic mechanism of electrostatic intercalation and surface chemisorption. The r-FAN rehabilitates the ecological fitness of As-contaminated artificial and mine soils, as manifested by the integrated bioassay results of collembolan and plants. Our findings will serve as a cornerstone for crystallization-based material engineering for sustainable environmental applications and for understanding the interactions between soil, nanoparticles, and contaminants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107963
JournalEnvironment international
Publication statusPublished - 2023 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant, funded by the Ministry of Education (2019R1A2C3006587, 2021R1I1A1A01052067, 2021R1A6A1A10045235). We thank the illustrator Young In Jeong, for assisting with the graphical designs and Jaemin Jang, for maintaining experimental organism.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)


  • Arsenic capture
  • Iron oxyhydroxide
  • Nanomaterial
  • Soil amendments
  • Sustainable Crystallization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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