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Microemulsion-Assisted Preparation of a Mesoporous Ferrihydrite/SiO2 Composite for the Efficient Removal of Formaldehyde from Air

Authors

  • Dr. Zhihua Xu,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Materials Synthesis and Processing, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070 (P. R. China)
    2. College of Chemical Engineering, Huanggang Normal University, Huanggang 438000 (P. R. China)
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  • Prof. Jiaguo Yu,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Materials Synthesis and Processing, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070 (P. R. China)
    • Jiaguo Yu, State Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Materials Synthesis and Processing, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070 (P. R. China)

      Wei Xiao, School of Resource & Environmental Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, 430072 (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 27-68775799

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  • Dr. Wei Xiao

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Resource & Environmental Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, 430072 (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 27-68775799
    • Jiaguo Yu, State Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Materials Synthesis and Processing, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070 (P. R. China)

      Wei Xiao, School of Resource & Environmental Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, 430072 (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 27-68775799

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Abstract

Mesoporous ferrihydrite/SiO2 composites were synthesized according to a water-in-oil microemulsion method and characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetry, nitrogen-adsorption/desorption, and by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The as-prepared porous ferrihydrite/SiO2 composites showed an excellent adsorption performance for formaldehyde (HCHO) removal from indoor air at ambient temperature. It was found that the aging time during the synthesis had a significant impact on the pore structure, surface area, and HCHO adsorption of these materials. The ferrihydrite/SiO2 composite that was aged for 3 h in the presence of tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) exhibited a relatively high HCHO adsorption capacity, as well as good recyclability, which was attributed to a relatively large BET surface area, optimal pore size, a suitable Si/Fe atomic ratio, and a synergistic effect between ferrihydrite and SiO2. This work not only demonstrates that porous ferrihydrite/SiO2 composites can act as an efficient adsorbent toward HCHO, but suggests a new route for the rational design of cost-effective and environmentally benign adsorbents with high performance for indoor air purification.

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