Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Comparison of the colloidal stability, mobility, and performance of nanoscale zerovalent iron and sulfidated derivatives.


Nanoscale zerovalent iron (nZVI) and sulfidated nanoscale zerovalent iron (S-nZVI) have been increasingly studied for heavy metal removal in the subsurface. However, a comprehensive comparison of the effectiveness of the technologies and the stability of derived metal-adsorbed composites is lacking. In this study, we evaluated the colloidal stability and transport of nZVI, S-nZVI and S-nZVI modified with nanosized silica (FeSSi). Furthermore, we monitored the metal immobilization performance of the three nanoparticles (NPs) under anoxic conditions in synthetic groundwater for 30 days. The NP-metal composites were thereafter discharged into a river water and metal remobilization was monitored for 20 days. Sulfidation improved the colloidal stability of nZVI in both simple media and in natural waters, although a lower initial agglomeration rate constant (ka) was observed in unmodified nZVI at acidic pH. The transport of nZVI in saturated soil column was enhanced with sulfidation due to decreased electrostatic attraction between the NPs and sand. The three NPs sequestered more than 80 % of Cu2+, Zn2+, Cd2+ and Cr2O72- from groundwater. Among the three NPs tested, S-nZVI had a slightly higher removal capacity for metals than nZVI in synthetic groundwater and the chemical stability of metal-S-nZVI composites upon discharge into river water was the highest.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View