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Dechlorination of Excess Trichloroethene by Bimetallic and Sulfidated Nanoscale Zero-Valent Iron

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-06-28, 00:00 authored by Feng He, Zhenjie Li, Shasha Shi, Wenqiang Xu, Hanzhen Sheng, Yawei Gu, Yonghai Jiang, Beidou Xi
Nanoscale zerovalent iron (nZVI) likely finds its application in source zone remediation. Two approaches to modify nZVI have been reported: bimetal (Fe–Me) and sulfidated nZVI (S-nZVI). However, previous research has primarily focused on enhancing particle reactivity with these two modifications under more plume-like conditions. In this study, we systematically compared the trichloroethene (TCE) dechlorination pathway, rate, and electron selectivity of Fe-Me (Me: Pd, Ni, Cu, and Ag), S-nZVI, and nZVI with excess TCE simulating source zone conditions. TCE dechlorination on Fe-Me was primarily via hydrogenolysis while that on S-nZVI and nZVI was mainly via β-elimination. The surface-area normalized TCE reduction rate (kSA) of Fe–Pd, S-nZVI, Fe–Ni, Fe–Cu, and Fe–Ag were ∼6800-, 190-, 130-, 20-, and 8-fold greater than nZVI. All bimetallic modification enhanced the competing hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) while sulfidation inhibited HER. Fe–Cu and Fe–Ag negligibly enhanced electron utilization efficiency (εe) while Fe–Pd, Fe–Ni, and S-nZVI dramatically increased εe from 2% to ∼100%, 69%, and 72%, respectively. Adsorbed atomic hydrogen was identified to be responsible for the TCE dechlorination on Fe–Me but not on S-nZVI. The enhanced dechlorination rate along with the reduced HER of S-nZVI can be explained by that FeS conducting major electrons mediated TCE dechlorination while Fe oxides conducting minor electrons mediated HER.