Removal of Cobalt-60 Radionuclides from Aqueous Solution Using Novel surface-modified Hematite Nanoparticles

Document Type : Research Article


1 Engineering Section, Machine Sazi Vijeh Co., Tehran, Iran

2 Department Environmental Department Environmental Pollution, Faculty of Energy and Environment, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, IR. IRAN

3 Materials and Nuclear Fuel Research School, Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute, P.O. Box 11365-8486 Tehran, I.R. IRAN


Throughout the years, humans have entered the environment with potentially hazardous wastes such as heavy metals and radioactive substances, so that it has a direct impact on human health and existing ecosystems. Hence, the investigation on the necessary strategies to control and eliminate these hazards has been the goal of various researches. In this study, the elimination of cobalt 60 radionuclides was investigated due to their abundance in the wastewaters of nuclear industries such as spent fuel reprocessing plants and nuclear power plants. Thus, novel surface-modified hematite nanoparticles (α-Fe2O3 NPs) were prepared by hydrothermal method at 250 °C and using iron(III) chloride hexahydrate (FeCl3.6H2O) and oleic acid (C₁₈H₃₄O₂) as raw materials for the removal of cobalt-60 radiostations from aqueous solutions. The synthesized α-Fe2O3 NPs were characterized by XRD, FT-IR, SEM, TEM, and BET. According to the results, the synthesized nanocrystals were more (90%) of nanorods 60-30 nm, along with irregular hexagonal nanoscale particles at a thickness of 40- 100 nm distributed among them.  The specific surface area was determined 31.29 m2/g and the effect of some variables such as pH, adsorbent weight, initial concentration of cobalt-60 radio cations, temperature, and contact time was significant on the absorption process. The optimized condition for cobalt-60 removal from aqueous solution was obtained in 25±1 °C , initial radio cation concentration of 1 mg/L, pH 6.5, contact time of 2 h, and nano α-Fe2O3 sorbent concentration of 20 mg/L. On the other hand, the Redlich-Peterson isotherm model was suitable for describing homogenous cobalt-60 adsorption with the maximum uptake capacity 142.86 mg/g at 25±1 °C. In contrast, analysis of experimental data showed that the cobalt-60 adsorption onto the synthesized nano α-Fe2O3 well fitted the Ho model as linear pseudo-second-order kinetics. Therefore, it can be concluded that the synthesized novel surface-modified α-Fe2O3 NPs is an effective, promising, and environment-friendly adsorbent with high capability in the removal of cobalt-60 radionuclides from aqueous solutions such as wastewaters.


Main Subjects

[1] Irannajad M., Haghighi H.K., Removal of Co2+, Ni2+, and Pb2+ by Manganese oxide-coated Zeolit: Equilibrium, Thermodynamics and Kinetics Studies, Journal of Clays and Clay Minerals, 65(1): 52-62 (2017).
[2] Ashtiani M.H., Azimi H., Characterization of Different Types of Bentonites and Their Applications as Adsorbents of Co(II) and Ni(II), Journal of Desalination and Water Treatment, 57(37): 17384-17399 (2016).
[3] Sounthararajah D.P., Loganathan P., Kandasamy J., Vigneswaran S., Adsorptive Removal of Heavy Metals from Water Using Sodium Titanate Nanofibres Loaded onto GAC in Fixed-Bed Columns, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 287: 306-316 (2015).
[4] Zhang L., Wei J., Zhao X., Li F., Jiang F., Zhang M., Cheng X., Competitive Adsorption of Strontium and Cobalt Onto Tin Antimonite, Chemical Engineering Journal, 285: 679-689 (2016).
[5] Yin Y., Hu J., Wang J., Removal of Sr2+, Co2+, and Cs+ from Aqueous Solution by Immobilized Saccharomyces cerevisiae with Magnetic Chitosan Beads, Journal of Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy, 1-8 (2017).
[6] Popa K., Palamaru M.N., Iordan A.R., Humelnicu D., Drochioiu G., Cecal A., Laboratory Analyses of 60Co2+, 65Zn2+ and 55+59Fe3+ Radiocations Uptake by Lemna Minor, Journal of Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies, 42(1): 87-95 (2006.
[7] Üzüm Ç., Shahwan T., Eroğlu A.E., Lieberwirth I., Scott T.B., Hallam K.R., Application of Zero-Valent Iron Nanoparticles for the Removal of Aqueous Co2+ Ions under Various Experimental Conditions, Chemical Engineering Journal, 144(2): 213-220 (2008).
[8] Liu M., Chen C., Hu J., Wu X., Wang X., Synthesis Of Magnetite/Graphene Oxide Composite and Application for Cobalt(II) Removal, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 115 (51): 25234-25240 (2011).
[9] Chen L., Lu, Wu, S., Zhou J., Wang X., Removal of Radiocobalt from Aqueous Solutions Using Titanate/Grapheme Oxide Composites, Journal of Molecular Liquids, 209: 397-403 (2015).
[10] Sasikumar P., Narasimhan S.V., Velmurugan S., Development of a Modified Ion Exchange Resin Column for Removal of Gadolinium From the Moderator System of PHWRs, Journal of Science Technology, 48: 1220-1225 (2013).
[11] Correa F.G., Flores N.A.F., Bulbulian S., Co2+ Ion Adsorption Behavior on Plum Stone Carbon Prepared by a Solid-Combustion Process, Journal of Desalination and Water Treatment, 57(55): 26472-26483 (2016).
[12] Park Y.J., Lee Y.C., Shin W.S., Choi S.J., Removal of Cobalt, Strontium and Cesium from Radioactive Laundry Wastewater by Ammonium Molybdophosphate-Polyacrylonitrile (AMP-PAN), Journal of Chemical Engineering, 162: 685-695 (2010).
[14] Nirmala I., Use of Iron Oxide Magnetic Nanosorbents for Cr (VI) Removal from Aqueous Solutions: A Review, Journal of Engineering Research and Applications, 4(10), Part-1, 55-63 (2014).
[15] Wei W., Quanguo H., Changzhong J., Magnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles: Synthesis and Surface Functionalization Strategies, Nanoscale Research Letters, 3: 397-415 (2008).
[16] Axel N.C., Torben R.J., Christian R.H.B., Elaine D.M., Nanosize crystals Of Goethite, α-FeOOH: Synthesis and Thermal Transformation, Journal of Solid State Chemistry, 180(4): 1431-1435 (2007).
[17] Hidetoshi, K.; Yamato, A.; Masaharu, S.; Shunsuke, U., Adsorption of Cobalt Ions on Hematite Particles. Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 23(10): 926-927 (1986).
[18] Todorović, M.; Milonjić, S.K.; Čomor, J.J.; Gal, I.J., Adsorption of Radioactive Ions 137Cs+, 85Sr2+ and 60Co2+ on Natural Magnetite and Hematite, Journal of Separation Science and Technology, 27(5): 671-679 (1992).
[19] Poursani A.S., Nilchi A., Hassani A.H., Sharia M., Nouri J., A Novel Method for Synthesis of Nano-γ-Al2O3: Study of Adsorption Behavior of Chromium, Nickel, Cadmium and Lead Ions, International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 12(6): 2003-2014 (2015).
[20] Tsirel'son V.G., Antipin M.Y., Strel'tsov R.P., Ozerov R.P., Struchkov Y.T., Calculation of Electric Field Gradient at Nuclei in Crystals from X-Ray Diffraction Data, Journal of Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR, 65(5): 1137-1141 (1987).
[21] Sobhanardakani S., Zandipak R., Adsorption of Co(II) Ions from Aqueous Solutions Using NiFe2O4 Nanoparticles, Journal of Advances in Environmental Health Research, 3(3): 179-187 (2015).
[23] Xu X.N., Wolfus Y., Shaulov A., Yeshurun Y., Felner I., Nowik I., Koltypin Y., Gedanken A., Annealing Study of Fe2O3 Nanoparticles: Magnetic Size Effects and Phase Transformations, Journal of Applied Physics, 91(7): 4611-4616 (2002).
[24] Almeida, T.P.; Fay, M.; Zhu, Y.; Brown, P.D., Process map for the hydrothermal synthesis of α-Fe2O3 nanorods, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 113(43): 18689-18698 (2009).
[25] Pradhan, G.K.; Parida, K.M., Fabrication, Growth Mechanism, and Characterization of α-Fe2O3 Nanorods, Journal of Applied Materials & Interfaces, 3(2): 317-323 (2011).
[26] Adegoke H.I., AmooAdekola F., Fatoki O.S., Ximba B.J., Adsorption of Cr (VI) on Synthetic Hematite (α-Fe2O3) Nanoparticles of Different Morphologies, Korean Journal of Chemical Engineering, 31(1): 142-154 (2014).
[27] Cataldo, S.; Cavallaro, G.; Gianguzza, A.; Lazzara, G.; Pettignano, A., Kinetic and Equilibrium Study for Cadmium and Copper Removal from Aqueous Solutions by Sorption onto Mixed Alginate/Pectin Gel Beads, Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 1(4): 1252-1260 (2013).
[28] Gunnarsson, M., Surface Complexation at the Iron Oxide/Water Interface, Experimental Investigations and Theoretical Developments, Institutionen för kemi Göteborgs universitet Göteborg : Chalmers reproservice , 39-43 (2002).
[29] Freitas J.C., Branco R.M., Lisboa I.G.O., Costa T.P., Campos M.G.N., Júnior M.J., Marques R.F.C., Magnetic Nanoparticles Obtained by Homogeneous Coprecipitation Sonochemically Assisted, Journal of Materials Research, 18(2): 220-224 (2015).
[30] Ceglowski M., Schroeder G., Preparation of Porous Resin with Schiff Base Chelating Groups for Removal of Heavy Metal Ions from Aqueous Solutions, Chemical Engineering Journal, 263: 402-411 (2015).
[31] Fang F., Kong L., Huang J., Wu S., Zhang K., Wang X., Sun B., Jin Z., Wang J., Huang X.J., Liu J., Removal of Cobalt Ions from Aqueous Solution by an Amination Graphene Oxide Nanocomposite, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 270: 1-10 (2014).
[32] Vilvanathan, S.; Shanthakumar, S, Biosorption of Co(II) Ions from Aqueous Solution Using Chrysanthemum Indicum: Kinetics, Equilibrium and Thermodynamics, Journal of Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 96: 98-110 (2015).
[33] Taman, R.; Ossman, M.E.; Mansour, M.S.; Farag H.A., Metal Oxide Nano-particles as an Adsorbent for Removal of Heavy Metals, Journal of Advanced Chemical Engineering, 5(3): (2015).
       DOI: 10.4172/2090-4568.1000125.
[34] Gimbert F., Morincrini N., Renault F., Badot P.M., Crini G., Adsorption Isotherm Models for Dye Removal by Cationized Starch-Based Material in a Single Component System: Error Analysis, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 157: 34-46 (2008).
[35] Nastaj J., Przewlocka A., Rajkowska-Mysliwiec M., Biosorption of Ni(II), Pb(II) and Zn(II) on Calcium Beads: Equilibrium, Kinetic and Mechanism Studies, Polish Journal of Chemical [36] Technology, 18(3): 81-87 (2016).
[36] Belhachemi M., Addoun F., Comparative Adsorption Isotherms and Modeling of Methylene Blue onto Activated Carbons, Applied Water Science, 1 (3-4): 111–117 (2011).
[37] Sampranpiboon P., Charnkeitkong P., Feng X., Equilibrium Isotherm Models for Adsorption of Zinc (II) ion from Aqueous Solution on Pulp Waste, Journal of WSEAS Transactions on Environment and Development, 10: 35-47 (2014).
[38] Xing M., Wang J., Nanoscaled Zero Valent Iron/Graphene Composite as an Efficient Adsorbent for Co(II) Removal from Aqueous Solution, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 474: 119-128 (2016).
[39] Deravanesiyan M., Beheshti M., Malekpour A., Alumina Nanoparticles Immobilization onto The Nax Zeolite and the Removal of Cr (III) and Co (II) Ions from Aqueous Solutions, Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 21: 580-586 (2015).
[40] Hooshyar Z., Rezanejade Bardajee G., Ghayeb Y., Sonication Enhanced Removal of Nickel and Cobalt Ions from Polluted Water Using an Iron-Based Sorbent, Journal of Chemistry, ID: 786954, 1-5 (2013).
[41] Uheida A., Salazar-Alvarez G., Bjorkman E., Yu Z., Muhammed M., Fe3O4 and γ-Fe2O3 Nanoparticles for the Adsorption of Co2+ from Aqueous Solution, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 298:501-507 (2006).
[42] Hashemian S., Saffari H., Ragabion S., Adsorption of Cobalt(II) from Aqueous Solutions by Fe3O4/Bentonite Nanocomposite, Journal of Water Air Soil Pollutant, 226 (2212): 1-10 (2015).
[43] Roy A., Bhattacharya J., A Binary and Ternary Adsorption Study of Wastewater Cd(II), Ni(II) and Co(II) by γ-Fe2O3 Nanotubes, Journal of Separation and Purification Technology,115: 172-179 (2013).
[44] Srivastava V., Sharma Y.C., Sillanpää M., Application of Nano-Magnesso Ferrite (n-MgFe2O4) for the Removal of Co2+ Ions from Synthetic Wastewater: Kinetic, Equilibrium and Thermodynamic Studies, Journal of Applied Surface Science, 338: 42-54 (2015).
[46] Zhao G.X., Li J.X., Ren X.M., Chen C.L., Wang X.K., Few-Layered Graphene Oxide Nanosheets as Superior Sorbents for Heavy Metal Ion Pollution Management, Journal of Environmental Science & Technology, 45: 10454-10462 (2011).
[47] Rajeshkannan R., Rajasimman M., Rajamohan N., Decolourisation of Malachite Green Using Tamarind Seed: Optimisation, Isotherm and Kinetic Studies, Journal of Chemical Industry and Chemical Engineering Quarterly, 17(1): 67-79 (2011).