Magnetically recoverable carbon-coated iron carbide with arsenic adsorptive removal properties

Camilah D. Powell, Sujin Guo, Lea M. Godret-Miertschin, Karen Ventura, Amanda W. Lounsbury, Chelsea A. Clark, Dino Villagran, Julie B. Zimmerman, Ariel J. Atkinson, Paul Westerhoff, Michael S. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Abstract: Magnetic particles, generally nanostructured and magnetite-based, have been studied extensively to remove drinking water contaminants. Compositions beyond Fe3O4 could address long-standing issues of magnetic recoverability and materials integrity in drinking waters. Herein carbon-coated iron carbide (Fe3C@C) were studied for the first time for their stability, magnetic characteristics, magnetic separability, and arsenic adsorptive properties. Experimental results show that (i) Fe3C@C with a 9-nm thick graphitic shell is chemically stable in simulated drinking water; (ii) is ferromagnetic with small magnetic remanence and a magnetic saturation that is ~ 2 × greater than Fe3O4; (iii) can be separated from water magnetically under continuous-flow conditions with greater than 99% recovery; and (iv) has a surface area-normalized adsorption capacity for arsenic (6.75 µg/m2) of the same order of magnitude as that of Fe3O4 (9.62 µg/m2). Fe3C@C can be a viable alternative to Fe3O4 with further development, for the magnetic removal of arsenic and other contaminants from drinking water sources. Graphic abstract: A comparative look at the chemical stability, adsorptive prowess, and magnetic capturability of nanostructured carbon-coated iron carbide for arsenic removal from simulated drinking water. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number1690
JournalSN Applied Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Adsorption
  • Arsenic
  • Environmental nanotechnology
  • Nano-magnetism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Magnetically recoverable carbon-coated iron carbide with arsenic adsorptive removal properties'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this