Advances in Surface Passivation of Nanoscale Zerovalent Iron A Critical Review

Abstract : Nanoscale zerovalent iron (NZVI) is one of the most extensively studied nanomaterials in the fields of wastewater treatment and remediation of soil and groundwater. However, rapid oxidative transformations of NZVI can result in reduced NZVI reactivity. Indeed, the surface passivation of NZVI is considered one of the most challenging aspects in successfully applying NZVI to contaminant degradation. The oxidation of NZVI can lead to the formation of FeII-bearing phases (e.g., FeIIO, FeII(OH)2, FeIIFeIII 2O4) on the NZVI surface or complete oxidation to ferric (oxyhydr)oxides (e.g., FeIIIOOH). This corrosion phenomenon is dependent upon various factors including the composition of NZVI itself, the type and concentration of aqueous species, reaction time and oxic/anoxic environments. As such, the coexistence of different Fe oxidation states on NZVI surfaces may also, in some instances, provide a unique reactive microenvironment to promote the adsorption of contaminants and their subsequent transformation via redox reactions. Thus, an understanding of passivation chemistry, and its related mechanisms, is essential not only for effective NZVI application but also for accurately assessing the positive and negative effects of NZVI surface passivation. The aim of this review is to discuss the nature of the passivation processes that occur and the passivation byproducts that form in various environments. In particular, the review presents (i) the strengths and limitations of state-of-the-art techniques (e.g., electron microscopies and X-ray-based spectroscopies) to identify passivation byproducts; (ii) the passivation mechanisms proposed to occur in anoxic and oxic environments; and (iii) the effects arising from synthesis procedures and the presence of inorganics/organics on the nature of the passivation byproducts that form. In addition, several depassivation strategies that may assist in increasing and/or maintaining the reactivity of NZVI are considered, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of NZVI in contaminant degradation. © 2018 American Chemical Society.
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S. Bae, R.N. Collins, T.D. Waite, K. Hanna. Advances in Surface Passivation of Nanoscale Zerovalent Iron A Critical Review. Environmental Science and Technology, American Chemical Society, 2018, 52 (21), pp.12010-12025. ⟨10.1021/acs.est.8b01734⟩. ⟨hal-01939031⟩

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