Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020KY046B

Magnetic Nanoparticles to Remove Arsenite from Water

Institute: Kentucky
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-03-01 End Date: 2021-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $12,553 Total Non-Federal Funds: $30,325

Principal Investigators: David Atwood

Abstract: Arsenite, As(III), remains a problematic water contaminate and is more difficult to remove than arsenate, As(V). This proposal outlines five contributions towards the eventual removal of arsenite from groundwater (and possibly surface water) in Kentucky: 1) a new dithiol compound (with the simplified name, AB9) that forms strong As-S covalent bonds to As(III), 2) attachment to silica derivatized with terminal amine groups through pendant carboxylate groups on AB9 3) attachment of AB9 to the silica surface of a magnetic nanoparticle (MNP) to create a new composite material, AB9-SiO2-Fe3O4, 4) covalent capture of arsenite from water to form, As(III)-AB9-SiO2-Fe3O4 (simplified to As(III)-AB9@MNP, and 5) magnetic separation of As(III)-AB9@MNP, from water. The arsenite-containing composite material is shown in the figure below left with the figure below right showing AB9@MNP (without As(III)) as a dark suspension in water and the immediate attraction of this material to an external magnet. This project will entail the synthesis, characterization, and larger-scale preparation of AB9@MNP generally following the procedures developed in a previously-funded KWRRI project with former graduate student Dr. John Walrod, now employed by the Department of Energy (DOE) at Sandia National Laboratories. The current proposal, with fourth-year graduate student Shashika Bandara, who wrote the first draft and first revision of this proposal, will determine the effectiveness of arsenite removal with AB9@MNP under laboratory conditions and in the presence of potential competing ions commonly found in drinking water such as chloride, phosphate, silicate, and bicarbonate. The ultimate goal of this project is to demonstrate arsenite removal from water samples obtained from sources in Kentucky. The outcomes from this research will be relevant to the removal of other elemental aqueous contaminants, particularly divalent heavy metals such as Cd, Hg, and possibly other metals like Co, Ni, and Mn.