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Rapid removal of chloroform, carbon tetrachloride and trichloroethylene in water by aluminum–iron alloy particles

Xu, Jie, Pu, Yuan, Yang, Xiao Jin, Wan, Pingyu, Wang, Rong, Song, Peng, Fisher, Adrian
Environmental technology 2018 v.39 no.22 pp. 2882-2890
X-ray diffraction, alloys, aluminum, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, electrochemistry, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, environmental technology, ions, iron, public health, trichloroethylene, water pollution, water treatment
Water contamination with chlorinated hydrocarbons such as chloroform (CHCl₃), carbon tetrachloride (CCl₄) and trichloroethylene (TCE) is one of the major public health concerns. In this study, we explored the use of aluminum–iron alloys particles in millimeter scale for rapid removal of CHCl₃, CCl₄ and TCE from water. Three types of Al–Fe alloy particles containing 10, 20 and 58 wt% of Fe (termed as Al–Fe10, Al–Fe20 and Al–Fe58) were prepared and characterized by electrochemical polarization, X-ray diffraction and energy dispersive spectrometer. For concentrations of 30–180 μg/L CHCl₃, CCl₄ and TCE, a removal efficiency of 45–64% was achieved in a hydraulic contact time of less than 3 min through a column packed with 0.8–2 mm diameter of Al–Fe alloy particles. The concentration of Al and Fe ions released into water was less than 0.15 and 0.05 mg/L, respectively. Alloying Al with Fe enhances reactivity towards chlorinated hydrocarbons' degradation and the enhancement is likely the consequence of galvanic effects between different phases (Al, Fe and intermetallic Al–Fe compounds such as Al₁₃Fe₄, Fe₃Al and FeAl₂) and catalytic role of these intermetallic Al–Fe compounds. The results demonstrate that the use of Al–Fe alloy particles offers a viable and green option for chlorinated hydrocarbons' removal in water treatment.