Modelling and Prediction of Fe/MWCNT Nanocomposites for Hexavalent Chromium Reduction

Zeyu Kang, Xiaodong Jia, Xiaolong Ma, Dongsheng Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chromium (Cr) is a heavy metal pollutant prevalent in freshwater resources. Current investigations into Cr(VI) removal materials primarily involve multi-component materials. Among them, iron nanoparticles and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) have exhibited great promise of removal capabilities. However, determining the optimal component ratio(s) experimentally still requires a substantial amount of effort. This paper presents a novel, model-based approach which can lessen the burden by predicting the performance of new materials. The model is based on reaction kinetics equations and derives its input parameters from the size and surface area characterisations of the components, individual components removal performance, and their mixture performance at one specific component ratio. The model is validated against experimental results for Fe/MWCNT mixtures at six ratios. The root mean square error of our model is 3.95 mg/g, which is less than 3% of the total adsorption capacity, indicating that the model is reliable. The model can be used to identify the optimal component ratios of the Fe-MWCNT composite and to reveal the relationship between performance and time. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first semi-empirical model that can predict the adsorption capacity of a composite material for heavy metals. The model is founded on the generic reduction theory of adsorption, and model parameters are not tied specifically to Fe/MWCNT. Thus, it can be used for predicting the adsorption reduction properties of other multiphase materials to speed up the new material design process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3271
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • catalytic reduction
  • environment remediation
  • heavy metal
  • hexavalent chromium
  • kinetics modelling
  • multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)


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