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Researchers Design Nano Primary Battery System for Remediating Diverse Heavy Metal Ions

Jul 02, 2024 | By GE Hongjian; ZHAO Weiwei

A team led by Prof. WU Zhengyan and ZHANG Jia from the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has designed and synthesized a versatile Fe/Cu primary battery-based nanocomposite to immobilize diverse Heavy metal ions (HMIs) to ppb level.

The research results were published in Journal of Hazardous Materials.

Heavy metal ions (HMIs) are tough to break down naturally and can accumulate in the food chain, increasing in concentration by hundreds to thousands of times before reaching humans. This process, known as biomagnification, poses serious health risks and disrupts ecological balance. It also degrades the quality of water and other environmental resources.

In this study, researchers created a new type of primary battery-based material to remove HMIs from water.

First, the team made a basic iron/copper (Fe/Cu) primary battery. Then, they improved graphite oxide (GO) by adding two chemicals: ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and 2-nitrobenzaldehyde (2-NBA), which responded to Ultraviolet (UV) light. Through this process, they created a special Fe/Cu primary battery-based material (FCPBN) that can change properties when exposed to UV light.

"This new material not only captures harmful metal ions more effectively," said GE Hongjian, first author of the paper., "but also uses UV light to trigger reactions that help remove these ions from water."

What's more, the FCPBN exhibited splendid performance on removing HMIs from water including Cr(VI), As(III), Cd(II), Pb(II), Mn(II), Zn(II), Co(II), Ni(II), and Cu(II) showing almost no leakage of pollutants.

"This work could provide a much more efficiently and environment-friendly approach to remediate HMIs in the future, helping sustainable environment development," added GE Hongjian.

 

 Mechanism of remediation and application prospect. (a) Schematic illustration of remediation principle of eliminating anionic and cationic HMIs via FCBPN. (b) The potential application of the technology in water and soil. (Image by GE Hongjian)

 

 

 

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