Iron for Cleaner Air

Iron for Cleaner Air

Author: ChemViews

The removal of contaminants from air can be achieved with by mesoporous transition-metal oxides, such as Cr2O3 and Au/MnO2. These oxides are expensive and not environmentally benign. Iron-based oxides such as ferrihydrite (Fh) could replace them if a stable, dehydroxylated form with accessible mesopores can be formed.

Thomas Mathew and colleagues, Toyota Central R&D Labs, Japan, have found that Fh nanoparticles can be precipitated from iron nitrate and NH3. Combined use of 1-propanol and a surfactant gave a cooperative effect that efficiently organized the Fh nanoparticles into a mesoporous assembly which could be partially dehydroxylated by heating.

The mesoporous Fh structure was shown to remove 84 % of CH3CHO at room temperature in 1 h and complete removal was achieved in 3 h. This environmentally friendly material is, therefore, the most efficient iron candidate for complete elimination of organic contaminants in air.

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