Wastewater degradation by iron/copper nanoparticles and the microorganism growth rate

Tareq W.M. Amen, Osama Eljamal, Ahmed M.E. Khalil, Nobuhiro Matsunaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Nowadays, trends in wastewater treatment by zero-valent iron (ZVI) were turned to use bimetallic NZVI particles by planting another metal onto the ZVI surface to increase its reactivity. Nano size zero-valent iron/copper (NZVI/Cu0) bimetallic particles were synthesized in order to examine its toxicity effects on the wastewater microbial life, kinetics of phosphorus, ammonia stripping and the reduction of chemical oxygen demand (COD). Various concentrations of NZVI/Cu0 and operation conditions both aerobic and anaerobic were investigated and compared with pure NZVI experiment. The results showed that addition 10 mg/L of NZVI/Cu0 significantly increased the numbers of bacteria colonies under anaerobic condition, conversely it inhibited bacteria activity with the presence of oxygen. Furthermore, the impact of nanoparticles on ammonia stripping and phosphorus removal was also linked to the emitted iron ions electrons. It was found that dosing high concentration of bimetallic NZVI/Cu0 has a negative effect on ammonia stripping regardless of the aeration condition. In comparison to control, dosing only 10 mg/L NZVI/Cu0, the phosphorus removal increased sharply both under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, these outcomes were obtained as a result of complete dissolution of bimetallic nanoparticles which formed copper-iron oxides components that are attributed to increasing the phosphorus adsorption rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-31
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Environmental Sciences (China)
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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