Impregnated calcium-alginate beads as floating reactors for the remediation of nitrate-contaminated groundwater

Fatemeh Bahrami, Xiaofei Yu, Yuanchun Zou, Yong Sun, Guangzhi Sun

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, calcium-alginate beads impregnated with nano zero valent iron (NZVI), magnetite nanoparticles (MNP), and powdered activated carbon (PAC) were synthesized, as they were mixed with calcium carbonate powders in sodium alginate solution and reacted with calcium chloride and citric acid. Optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images showed that the nanoparticles were uniformly embedded, and gas bubbles formed, in the polymeric beads. Comparative experiments were carried out as the nanoparticles were dosed, in original (bare) or immobilized form (embedded in the beads), into 100 mg/L nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) solutions at 5, 10, and 15 g/L. In 48 h, each gram of immobilized NZVI in the beads were found to reduce 4.3–9.6 mg NO3-N to ammoniacal-nitrogen (NH4-N). Up to 47.8% NH4-N resulted from NO3-N reduction was immobilized by PAC in the beads. These results demonstrated the effectiveness of using the beads for in-situ removal of nitrate, potentially producing an alternative technique to treat nitrate contaminated waters under anaerobic condition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122774
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2020


  • Alginate
  • Groundwater contamination
  • Iron nanopowders
  • Remediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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