Preparation of a novel Fe3O4/HCO composite adsorbent and the mechanism for the removal of antimony (III) from aqueous solution

Jun Zhang, Renjian Deng*, Bozhi Ren, Baolin Hou, Andrew Hursthouse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
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A novel adsorbent (Fe3O4/HCO) was prepared via co-precipitation from a mix of ferriferrous oxide and a Ce-rich waste industrial sludge recovered from an optical polishing activity. The effect of system parameters including reaction time, pH, dose, temperature as well as initial concentration on the adsorption of Sb(III) were investigated by sequential batch tests. The Sb(III)/Fe3O4/HCO system quickly reached adsorption equilibrium within 2 h, was effective over a wide pH (3-7) and demonstrated excellent removal at a 60 mg/L Sb(III) concentration. Three isothermal adsorption models were assessed to describe the equilibrium data for Sb(III) with Fe3O4/HCO . Compared to the Freundlich and dubinin-radushkevich, the Langmuir isotherm model showed the best fit, with a maximum adsorption capacity of 22.853 mg/g, which exceeds many comparable absorbents. Four kinetic models, Pseudo-first-order, Pseudo-second-order, Elovich and Intra-particle, were used to fit the adsorption process. The analysis showed that the mechanism was pseudo-second-order and chemical adsorption
played a dominant role in the adsorption of Sb(III) by Fe3O4/HCO (correlation coefficient R2 =0.993). Thermodynamic calculations suggest that adsorption of Sb(III) ions was endothermic, spontaneous and a thermodynamically feasible process. The mechanism of the adsorption of Sb(III) on Fe3O4/HCO could be described by the synergistic adsorption of Sb (III) on Fe3O4, FeCe2O4 and hydrous ceric oxide. The Fe3O4/HCO sorbent appears to be an efficient and environment-friendly material for the removal of Sb(III) from wastewater.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13021
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2019


  • antimony
  • Fe3O4/polishing sludge adsorbent
  • adsorption isotherm
  • kinetic model
  • thermodynamics


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