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Researchers at the Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Center of Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, in southeastern Iran, succeeded in the production of highly applicable nanoparticles with a purification of 99.99%.
Precipitation method is usually used for the synthesis of maghemite nanoparticles. This method is very costly as the particles are severely agglomerated when the magnetite powder is heated at 200-400°C.
"We synthesized maghemite nanoparticles through a modern and simple method. In this method, the heating stage was totally eliminated. Therefore, the particles do not agglomerate any more and there is no extra cost," Eng Esmae'il Darezereshki, a member of the Scientific Board of Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Centre of Bahonar University in Kerman, said in an interview with the news service of Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council's website.
Considering the fact that most of the methods for the synthesis of maghemite consist of two stages, this method is an innovative one because it happens in only one stage, the oxidation stage (in order to change magnetite into maghemite) has been eliminated, and it does not need a toxic organic substance," he added.
Elaborating on the procedure of the research, Eng Darezereshki said, "We used single-stage precipitation method in this research. For this purpose, we changed the concentration of ammonium hydroxide from 0.7 to 2 M in a determined range of the ratio of Fe (II) to Fe (III) in order to change the two-staged synthesis to a single-staged one. In the end, we succeeded in synthesizing maghemite nanoparticles with a purification of 99.99% and the particles' average size of 10 nm."
Maghemite nanoparticles are specifically applicable in the removal of heavy industrial pollutants such as cadmium, cobalt, and so on.
Taking into account the simplicity of the method, the infrastructures for the commercialization of the method already exist in the country, and this method can be used for the industrial production of maghemite in the near future.
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