Journal article

Polysulfides made from re-purposed waste are sustainable materials for removing iron from water

Nicholas A Lundquist, Max JH Worthington, Nick Adamson, Christopher T Gibson, Martin R Johnston, Amanda V Ellis, Justin M Chalker



Water contaminated with Fe3+ is undesirable because it can result in discoloured plumbing fixtures, clogging, and a poor taste and aesthetic profile for drinking water. At high levels, Fe3+ can also promote the growth of unwanted bacteria, so environmental agencies and water authorities typically regulate the amount of Fe3+ in municipal water and wastewater. Here, polysulfide sorbents - prepared from elemental sulfur and unsaturated cooking oils - are used to remove Fe3+ contaminants from water. The sorbent is low-cost and sustainable, as it can be prepared entirely from waste. The preparation of this material using microwave heating and its application in iron capture are two important adva..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was supported financially by Flinders University and the Australian Government National Environmental Science Programme Emerging Priorities Funding. J. M. C. also acknowledges support from the Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award (DE150101863). We acknowledge the use of the South Australian node of the Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Research Facility (AMMRF) and Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) at Flinders University. Renata Kucera, Shaun Johns and Melani Dona are thanked for contributing to preliminary experiments. Michael Perkins, Jason Gascooke, David Lewis and Jonathan Campbell are acknowledged for helpful discussions and technical assistance. We thank J. Timothy Jensen of the Metropolitan Washington Area Transit Authority for insight regarding the treatment and discharge of water contaminated with iron.