Mercury remediation from wastewater through its spontaneous adsorption on non-functionalized inverse spinel magnetic ferrite nanoparticles

Herlys Viltres, Nishesh Kumar Gupta, Roxana Paz, Rushikesh P. Dhavale, Hyung Ho Park, Carolina Leyva, Seshasai Srinivasan, Amin Reza Rajabzadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, inverse spinel cubic ferrites MFe2O4 (M = Fe2+, and Co2+) have been fabricated for the high-capacity adsorptive removal of Hg(II) ions. The PXRD analysis confirmed ferrites with the presence of residual NaCl. The surface area of Fe3O4 (Fe-F) and CoFe2O4 (Co-F) material was 69.1 and 45.2 m2 g−1, respectively. The Co-F and Fe-F showed the maximum Hg(II) adsorption capacity of 459 and 436 mg g−1 at pH 6. The kinetic and isotherms models suggested a spontaneous adsorption process involving chemical forces over the ferrite adsorbents. The Hg(II) adsorption process, probed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), confirmed the interaction of Hg(II) ions with the surface hydroxyl groups via a complexation mechanism instead of proton exchange at pH 6 with the involvement of chloride ions. Thus, this study demonstrates a viable and cost-effective solution for the efficient remediation of Hg ions from wastewater using non-functionalized ferrite adsorbents. This study also systematically investigates the kinetics and isotherm mechanism of Hg(II) adsorption onto ferrites and reports one of the highest Hg(II) adsorption capacities among other ferrite-based adsorbents.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Laboratorio Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología y Gestión Integrada del Agua (LNAGUA) and LNCAE (Laboratorio Nacional de Conversión y Almacenamiento de Energía) for the access to their experimental facility and equipment. R.P. Dhavale and H.H. Park would like to thank for the support from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2020R1A5A1019131).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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