Facile synthesis of nanosheet-assembled γ-Fe2O3 magnetic microspheres and enhanced Sb(III) removal

Wenlin Zhao, Bozhi Ren*, Andrew Hursthouse, Zhenghua Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


The development and utilization of magnetic nanoadsorption materials with large adsorption capacity and easy separation are the research hotspot nowadays. In this study, nanosheet-assembled maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) magnetic microspheres were successfully synthesized by an environmental friendly, quick, and simple method, for enhanced Sb(III) removal from aqueous solution. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM), and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) were used to characterize the material. The results showed that the product contained flower-like γ-Fe2O3 microspheres composed of petal-shaped nanosheets interspersed with each other. The specific surface area and pore volume were 69.23 m2/g and 0.15 cm3/g, respectively. The material has a strong magnetic response, which allows rapid solid-liquid separation under the action of an external magnetic field. The effects of different dosages, solution pH, and contact time on the adsorption effect were studied by batch adsorption experiments, and the reusability of the materials was evaluated. Both Freundlich isothermal adsorption model and pseudo-second-order kinetic model were able to describe the uptake of Sb(III). The maximum adsorption capacity of the material was 47.48 mg/g under optimal conditions. The adsorption mechanism is mainly that Sb and lattice oxygen (OX2−) form Fe-O-Sb coordination bonds, which is incorporated into the crystal structure of γ-Fe2O3 as inner-sphere surface complexes. The synthetic material has the advantage of simple preparation process, good adsorption capacity, operation over a wide range of pH, and easy physical separation from treatment systems with good potential for future application to treat polluted wastewater.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19822-19837
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2021


  • adsorption performance
  • antimony wastewater
  • nanomaterials
  • iron oxide
  • magnetic microspheres


Dive into the research topics of 'Facile synthesis of nanosheet-assembled γ-Fe2O3 magnetic microspheres and enhanced Sb(III) removal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this