Selective Capacitive Removal of Heavy Metal Ions from Wastewater over Lewis Base Sites of S-Doped Fe-N-C Cathodes via an Electro-Adsorption Process

Minlin Mao, Tingting Yan, Junjie Shen, Jianping Zhang, Dengsong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pollution of toxic heavy metals is becoming an increasingly important issue in environmental remediation because these metals are harmful to the ecological environment and human health. Highly efficient selective removal of heavy metal ions is a huge challenge for wastewater purification. Here, highly efficient selective capacitive removal (SCR) of heavy metal ions from complex wastewater over Lewis base sites of S-doped Fe-N-C cathodes was originally performed via an electro-adsorption process. The SCR efficiency of heavy metal ions can reach 99% in a binary mixed solution [NaCl (100 ppm) and metal nitrate (10 ppm)]. Even the SCR efficiency of heavy metal ions in a mixed solution containing NaCl (100 ppm) and multicomponent metal nitrates (10 ppm for each) can approach 99%. Meanwhile, the electrode also demonstrated excellent cycle performance. It has been demonstrated that the doping of S can not only enhance the activity of Fe-N sites and improve the removal ability of heavy metal ions but also combine with heavy metal ions by forming covalent bonds of S- clusters on Lewis bases. This work demonstrates a prospective way for the selective removal of heavy metal ions in wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7655-7673
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number11
Early online date13 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • electro-adsorption
  • environmental remediation
  • heavy metal ions
  • selective capacitive removal
  • wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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