Novel macroporous iron oxide nanocomposite cryogels were synthesized and assessed as arsenite (As(III)) adsorbents. The two-step synthesis method, by which a porous nanonetwork of iron oxide is firstly formed, allowed a homogeneous dispersion of the iron oxide in the cryogel reaction mixture, regardless of the nature of the co-polymer forming the cryogel structure. The cryogels showed excellent mechanical properties, especially the acrylamide-based cryogel. This gel showed the highest As(III) adsorption capacity, with the maximum value estimated at 118 mg/g using the Langmuir model. The immobilization of the nanostructured iron oxide gel into the cryogel matrix resulted in slower adsorption kinetics, however the cryogels offer the advantage of a stable three-dimensional structure that impedes the release of the iron oxide nanoparticles into the treated effluent. A preliminary toxicity evaluation of the cryogels did not indicate any apparent inhibition of human hepatic cells activity, which together with their mechanical stability and high adsorption capacity for As(III) make them excellent materials for the development of nanoparticle based adsorption devices for drinking water treatment.
- Iron oxide nanoparticles
- Polymer cryogel
- Water remediation
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- School of Applied Sciences - Senior Lecturer
- Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Devices
- Centre for Precision Health and Translational Medicine
- Applied Chemical Sciences Research and Enterprise Group
- Biomaterials and Drug Delivery Research and Enterprise Group
- Centre for Aquatic Environments
- Centre for Stress and Age-Related Disease