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A Critical Textural Evolution Study of Zerovalent Iron/Montmorillonite Nanosized Heterostructures Under Various Iron Loadings

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2024

Mingde Fan
College of Environment and Resources, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010021, China CAS Key Laboratory of Mineralogy and Metallogeny, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510460, China
Peng Yuan*
CAS Key Laboratory of Mineralogy and Metallogeny, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510460, China
Faïza Bergaya
CRMD CNRS-Université d’Orléans, 1b, Rue de la Férollerie, 45071 Orléans Cedex 2, France
Hongping He
CAS Key Laboratory of Mineralogy and Metallogeny, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510460, China
Tianhu Chen
School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China
Jianxi Zhu
CAS Key Laboratory of Mineralogy and Metallogeny, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510460, China
Dong Liu
CAS Key Laboratory of Mineralogy and Metallogeny, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510460, China Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100039, China
* E-mail address of corresponding author:


Heterostructures formed by nanoparticles hybridized with porous hosts are of great potential in many practical applications such as catalysis, adsorption, and environmental remediation, based on their intrinsic properties. The objectives of this study were to synthesize zerovalent iron nanoparticles/montmorillonite heterostructures and to investigate their textural evolution under different Fe loadings. Iron nanoparticles were hybridized with montmorillonite by impregnation of montmorillonite by ferric ions followed by chemical reduction with sodium borohydride in solution. These hybridized Fe nanoparticles were well dispersed on the montmorillonite surface, size adjustable, and resistant to oxidation under the protection of native Fe-oxide shells. The textural evolution of these heterostructures under various Fe loadings was investigated using nitrogen physisorption, X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, and elemental analyses. As the Fe loadings increased, the total pore and mesopore volumes were almost unchanged; the total, micropore, and external surface areas as well as the micropore volume decreased; and the average pore diameter increased. These textural changes could be attributed to the filling of the interparticle pores of montmorillonite by a variable amount of Fe nanoparticles. In addition, with increasing Fe loadings, the mesoporous character was enhanced for these heterostructures. These fundamental results are important in understanding the structure of these heterostructures as well as in developing some novel applications in related fields.

Copyright © Clay Minerals Society 2011

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