The impact of surface properties and dominant ions on the effectiveness of G-nZVI heterogeneous catalyst for environmental remediation

Usman Farooq, Muhammad Danish, Shuguang Lyu, Mark L Brusseau, Mengbin Gu, Waqas Qamar Zaman, Zhaofu Qiu, Qian Sui

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3 Scopus citations


The surface properties of nanocomposites are influenced by the existence of inorganic species that may affect its performance for specific catalytic applications. The impact of different ionic species on particular catalytic activity had not been investigated to date. In this study, the surface charge (zeta potential) of graphene-oxide-supported nano zero valent iron (G-nZVI) was tested in definitive cationic (Na+, K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+) and anionic (Br, Cl, NO3 , SO4 2−, and HCO3 ) environments. The efficiency of G-nZVI catalyst was inspected by measuring the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) for the degradation of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) in sodium percarbonate (SPC) system. Tests conducted using probe compounds confirmed the generation of OH[rad] and O2[rad] radicals in the system. In addition, the experiments performed using scavenging agents certified that O2[rad] were primary radicals responsible for TCA removal, along with prominent contribution from OH[rad] radicals. The study confirmed that G-nZVI catalytic capability for TCA degradation is notably affected by various cationic species. The presence of Ni2+ and Cu2+ significantly enhanced (94%), whereas Na+ and K+ had minor effects on TCA removal. Overall, the results indicated that groundwater ionic composition may have low impact on the effectiveness of G-nZVI-catalyzed peroxide TCA treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1182-1188
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Feb 15 2019



  • Advanced oxidation process
  • G-nZVI nanocomposite
  • Ionic composition
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Surface charge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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