The production of zero-valent iron nanoparticles, using extracts from natural products, represents a green and environmentally friendly method. Synthesis of ‘green’ zero-valent nanoparticles (nZVI) using oak and mulberry leaf extracts (OL-nZVI and ML-nZVI) proved to be a promising approach for Ni(II) and Cu(II) removal from aqueous solutions. Characterization of the produced green nZVI materials had been conducted previously and confirmed the formation of nanosize zero-valent iron particles within the size range of 10–30 nm, spherical with minimum agglomeration observed by transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscope morphology measurements. Batch experiments revealed that the adsorption kinetics followed a pseudo-second-order rate equation. The obtained adsorption isotherm data could be well described by the Freundlich model and OL-nZVI showed higher adsorption capacity for Ni(II) removal than ML-nZVI, while ML-nZVI adsorption capacity was higher for Cu(II). In addition, investigation of the pH effect showed that varying the initial pH value had a great effect on Ni(II) and Cu(II) removal. Adsorbed amounts of Ni(II) and Cu(II) increased with pH increase to pH 7.0 and 8.0. This study indicated that nZVI produced by a low-cost and non-toxic method with oak and mulberry leaf extracts could be used as a new material for remediation of water matrices contaminated with Ni(II) and Cu(II).

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