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Synthesis of FeO@SiO2-DNA core-shell engineered nanostructures for rapid adsorption of heavy metals in aqueous solutions

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posted on 2023-07-17, 17:48 authored by David Alfonso Patiño-Ruiz, Lars Rehmann, Mehrab MehrvarMehrab Mehrvar, Edgar Quiñones-Bolaños, Adriana Herrera

Creating novel and innovative nanostructures is a challenge, aiming to discover nanomaterials with promising properties for environmental remediation. In this study, the physicochemical and adsorption properties of a heterogeneous nanostructure are evaluated for the rapid removal of heavy metal ions from aqueous solutions. Core–shell nanostructures are prepared using iron oxide cores and silica dioxide shells. The core is synthesized via the co-precipitation method and modified in situ with citric acid to grow a carboxyl layer. The shell was hydrolyzed/condensed and then functionalized with amine groups for ds-DNA condensation via electrostatic interaction. The characterization techniques revealed functional FeO@SiO2–DNA nanostructures with good crystallinity and superparamagnetic response (31.5 emu g−1). The predominant superparamagnetic nature is attributed to the citric acid coating. This improves the dispersion and stability of the magnetic cores through the reduction of the dipolar–dipolar interaction and the enhancement of the spin coordination. The rapid adsorption mechanism of FeO@SiO2–DNA was evaluated through the removal of Pb(II), As(III), and Hg(II). A rapid adsorption rate is observed in the first 15 min, attributed to a heterogeneous chemisorption mechanism based on electrostatic interactions. FeO@SiO2–DNA shows higher adsorption efficiency of 69% for Pb(II) removal compared to As(III) (51%) and Hg(II) (41%). The selectivity towards Pb(II) is attributed to the similar acid nature to ds-DNA, where the ionic strength interaction provides good affinity and stability. The facile synthesis and rapid adsorption suggest a promising nanostructure for the remediation of water sources contaminated with heavy metal ions and can be extended to other complex molecules.

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