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Low-Field Dynamic Magnetic Separation by Self-Fabricated Magnetic Meshes for Efficient Heavy Metal Removal

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journal contribution
posted on 03.10.2017 by Xiangxia Wei, Pon Janani Sugumaran, Erwin Peng, Xiao Li Liu, Jun Ding
Wastewater contaminated with heavy metals is a worldwide concern due to the toxicity to human and animals. The current study presents an incorporation of adsorption and low-field dynamic magnetic separation technique for the treatment of heavy-metal-contaminated water. The key components are the eco-fabricated magnetic filter with mesh architectures (constituted of a soft magnetic material (Ni,Zn)­Fe2O4) and poly­(acrylic acid) (PAA)-coated quasi-superparamagnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles (NPs). PAA-coated Fe3O4 NPs possess high adsorption capacity of heavy metal ions including Pb, Ni, Co, and Cu and can be easily regenerated after the adjustment of pH. Moreover, magnetic mesh filter has shown excellent collection ability of quasi-superparamagnetic particles under a magnetic field as low as 0.7 kOe (0.07 T) and can easily release these particles during ultrasonic washing when small magnets are removed. In the end, after one filtration process, the heavy metal concentration can be significantly decreased from 1.0 mg L–1 to below the drinking water standard recommended by the World Health Organization (e.g., less than 0.01 mg L–1 for Pb). Overall, a proof-of-concept adsorption and subsequent low-field dynamic separation technique is demonstrated as an economical and efficient route for heavy metal removal from wastewater.