Novel chitosan goethite bionanocomposite beads for arsenic remediation Academic Article uri icon


  • We report on the synthesis and As adsorption properties of a novel chitosan - iron (oxyhydr)oxide composite material for the remediation of arsenic-contaminated water supplies. FE-SEM, Mössbauer spectroscopy, ICP-OES and synchrotron (Bulk XAS, μXRF) techniques were applied to determine the composition of the new material and investigate the As uptake efficiency and mechanism. The iron (oxyhydr)oxide phase has been identified as a nano-sized goethite, well dispersed in the chitosan matrix, leading to the name 'chitosan goethite bionanocomposite' (CGB). The CGB material is prepared in the form of beads of high density and excellent compression strength; the embedding of the goethite nanoparticles in the chitosan matrix allows for the high adsorption capacity of nanoparticles to be realized. CGB beads remove both As(III) and As(V) efficiently from water, over the pH range 5-9, negating the need for pre-oxidation of As(III). Kinetic studies and μXRF analysis of CGB bead sections show that diffusion-adsorption of As(V) into CGB beads is faster than for As(III). Using CGB beads, synthetic high-arsenic water (0.5 mg-As/L) could be purified to world drinking standard level (<0.01 mg-As/L) using only 1.4 g/L CGB. When considered in combination with the advantages of the low-cost of raw materials required, and facile (green) synthesis route, CGB is a promising material for arsenic remediation, particularly in developing countries, which suffer a diversity of socio-economical-traditional constraints for water purification and sanitation.

publication date

  • 2016