Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.364, No.2, 324-332, 2011
An eco-friendly route to magnetic silica microspheres and nanospheres
A green and inexpensive alternative to existing methods for the preparation of magnetic iron oxide/silica nanocomposite particles has been investigated. The use of water-in oil emulsions based on vegetable oils instead of usual solvents led to microsized or nanosized magnetic silica spheres exhibiting similar characteristics to those of classical procedures. Furthermore this approach is very general since a large class of porous magnetic colloids differing in size or iron oxide fraction has been obtained. This work emphasizes the importance of the level of the shearing during the emulsification step with regard to the size and monodispersity of the prepared beads. All the materials prepared were fully characterized (SEM and TEM microscopies, SQUID magnetometry, N(2) sorption volumetry, etc.). In addition, samples functionalized by thiol groups have been synthesized and successfully tested for the removal of heavy metals in water-treatment. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.