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The application of magnetite nanoparticles in environmental engineering is promi

sing due to several factors. Magnetite nanoparticles have a large specific surfa
ce area, making them ideal as nano-sorbents for some contaminants [5], [6], [21]
and [23]. The specific surface area can be estimated at 116 m2/g, based on the
assumption that all magnetite particles are spheres of 10 nm in diameter (the de
nsity of magnetite is 5.18 g/cm3 [39]). The PZC of magnetite nanoparticles is cl
ose to 7 [10] and [39]. Thus, the surfaces of magnetite nanoparticles are positi
vely charged at acidic conditions and negatively charged at alkaline conditions,
which entails the advantage to remove both anionic and cationic pollutants from
water or wastewater via adsorption at different pHs. In the structure of magnet
ite nanoparticles, one third of the total iron is in the ferrous state, which ca
n reduce some metal ions to less soluble forms or detoxify some metals such as C
r6+ in remediation or wastewater treatment [5] and [39]. Another feature of magn
etite nanoparticles is their superparamagnetic properties, which make them very
promising in environmental treatment or remediation. After sorption, the contami
nant compounds along with magnetite nanoparticles can be separated from the wast
ewater using high gradient magnetic separation (HGMS) techniques [23] and [41],
making the regeneration and reuse of nanoparticles possible.
In environmental engineering, however, the utilization of magnetite nanoparticle
s prepared from reagent-grade chemicals could not be cost-effective in the full-
scale process, due to the characteristics of water or wastewater, such as high f
low rate, and the presence of various pollutants and associated high consumption
and loss of nanoparticles. AMD is an environmental problem with long-term liabi
lity for the mining industry due to its low pH and high metal concentrations (es
pecially Fe). Further, AMD sludge treatment and disposal are difficult and can b
e costly to implement. The metal recovery process used in this study demonstrate
d that iron could be recovered as iron hydroxide/oxyhydroxide precipitate with a
relatively high purity while AMD was treated. After resolubilization, the recov
ered ferric iron from AMD was used to synthesize magnetite nanoparticles, which
showed the same quality as those prepared with reagent-grade chemicals. Thus, th
is study provided a great opportunity for manufacturing of low-cost magnetite na
noparticles for water and wastewater treatment in environmental engineering, and
hence the overall waste minimization was achieved.

samples exhibited higher adsorption rates and more effective removal capacity of
organic pollutants compared with commercial activated carbon
The multifunctional nanocomposites can be potentially used as absorbents for fas
t, convenient, and highly efficient removal of pollutants from the wastewater, w
hich will play important roles in the purification or desalination of natural wa
ter and industrial effluents.

The porous wall structure of the lateral carbon capsules provides the sufficient
spaces that contribute to high adsorption capacities and faster adsorption rate
s of pollutants molecules in aqueous media. The nanocomposites are superparamagn
etic at room temperature with a saturation magnetization of 5.5 emu g-1, which p
rovides the prerequisite for the fast magnetic separation in wastewater treatmen
t applicati

A novel type of superparamagnetic silica-coated (Fe3O4/SiO2 core/shell) magneti


te nanoparticle modified by surfactants has been successfully synthesized and wa
s applied as an effective sorbent material for the pre-concentration of several
typical phenolic compounds (bisphenol A (BPA), 4-tert-octylphenol (4-OP) and 4-n
-nonylphenol (4-NP)) from environmental water samples. Compared with pure magnet
ic particles, a thin and dense silica layer would protect the iron oxide core fr
om leaching out in acidic conditions. In order to enhance their adsorptive tende
ncy towards organic compounds, cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) or cetyltrimethyla
mmonium bromide (CTAB) were added, which adsorbed on the surface of the Fe3O4/Si
O2 nanoparticles (Fe3O4/SiO2 NPs) and formed mixed hemimicelles. Main factors a
ffecting the adsolubilization of analytes were optimized and comparative study o
n the use of CPC and CTAB-coated Fe3O4/SiO2 NPs mixed hemimicelles-based SPE was
also carried out. CPC-coated Fe3O4/SiO2 NPs system was selected due to lower e
lution volume required and more effective adsorption of the target compounds. Un
der selected conditions, concentration factor of 1600 was achieved by using this
method to extract 800 mL of different environmental water samples. The detectio
n limits obtained for BPA, 4-OP and 4-NP with HPLC-FLD were 7, 14, and 20 ng/L,
respectively.