Degradation of methyl orange on Fe/Ag nanoparticles immobilized on polyacrylonitrile nanofibers using EDTA chelating agents

Eutilério F.C. Chaúque, J. Catherine Ngila, Sekhar C. Ray, Lwazi Ndlwana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Bimetallic nanoparticles are effective for the removal of organic pollutants from environmental water samples through catalytic degradation reactions. Hence, this work reports on the preparation of Fe/Ag bimetallic nanoparticles immobilized on electrospun polyacrylonitrile nanofibers (PAN NFs) pre-functionalized with EDTA and ethylenediamine (EDA) chelating agents. Characterization techniques included attenuated total reflectance coupled to Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (ATR-FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The liquid chromatography coupled to a mass spectrometer (HPLC-MS) was used to investigate the degradation by-products. The impregnation of EDTA-EDA chelating agents imparted changes on the pristine PAN NFs as evidenced by increased nanofiber's average diameter and surface chemistry. The zero valent Fe and Ag NPs were successfully immobilized on PAN NFs and their catalytic activity was tested for the degradation of azo dyes. Results showed efficient decolourization of methyl orange dye molecules from synthetic water samples after four (4) cycles of reuse (e.g. >96% removal efficiency). The hydrogenation of methyl orange was found to be the removal mechanism due to the presence of hydrogenated methyl orange by-products in the treated water samples. Therefore, the fabricated nanocomposites exhibit potential application for the remediation of textile wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-489
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019


  • Azo dyes
  • EDTA
  • Fe/Ag nanoparticles
  • Nanofibers
  • Polyacrylonitrile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Degradation of methyl orange on Fe/Ag nanoparticles immobilized on polyacrylonitrile nanofibers using EDTA chelating agents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this