What is Carbo-Iron ® ?

Carbo-Iron is a composite material of nano-sized zero-valent iron embedded in microsized porous carbon developed by the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ in Leipzig. Carbo-Iron is an air-stable powder which forms stable suspensions and can be injected into the groundwater aquifer for contaminant destruction.

Where would you apply Carbo-Iron ® ?

Carbo-Iron ® is designed as reagent for groundwater treatment. It is a sorption-active alternative to nanoiron products. Carbo-Iron® can be easily transported several meters in the contaminated aquifer. After sedimentation, the particles form a broad reaction zone which is able to retard contaminants and chemically degrade them.

Carbo-Iron ®

The innovative idea is to embed iron nanoclusters into activated carbon particles which can be injected into the aquifer as suspension. By this the advantages of both materials can be utilized in the composite.

The often highly diluted groundwater contaminants are enriched at the activated carbon part of Carbo-Iron and afterwards efficiently destroyed at the embedded iron structures.

Similiar to nanoiron, target contaminants are chloroethenes such as TCE, PCE, many brominated substances such as all bromoethenes, dibromoethane, but also inorganics such as Cr(VI) and many others.


NanoRem funded by the EU (FP7) “taking Nanotechnological Remediation Processes from Lab Scale to End User Applications for the Restoration of a Clean Environment”. (02/2013-01/2017)

Fe-Nanosit funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)“Iron-based Nanoparticles and Nanocomposits for contaminant removal from ground and wastewater“. (until 12/2013)

Selected scientific publications:

Mackenzie, K., Bley, S., Georgi, A., Kopinke, F.-D. (2012): Carbo-Iron – an Fe/carbon composite – as alternative to nano-iron for groundwater treatment Water Res., 46 (12) 3817-3826. (doi:10.1016/j.watres.2012.04.013)

Bleyl, S., Kopinke, F.-D., Mackenzie, K. (2012): Carbo-Iron®—Synthesis and stabilization of Fe(0)-doped colloidal activated carbon for in situ groundwater treatment Chem.Eng.J. 191 , 588 – 595 (doi:10.1016/j.cej.2012.03.021)

Bleyl, S., Kopinke, F. D., Georgi, A., & Mackenzie, K. (2013). Carbo?Iron–ein maßgeschneidertes Reagenz zur In?situ?Grundwassersanierung. Chemie Ingenieur Technik, 85(8), 1302-1311.(doi: 10.1002/cite.201300009)

Georgi, A., Schierz, A., Mackenzie, K., Kopinke, F.-D., (2015): Colloidal activated carbon for in-situ groundwater remediation — Transport characteristics and adsorption of organic compounds in water-saturated sediment columns  J. Contam. Hydrol., 179 , 76 - 88. (doi:10.1016/j.jconhyd.2015.05.002)

Mackenzie, K., Bleyl, S., Kopinke, F. D., Doose, H., & Bruns, J. (2016): Carbo-Iron as improvement of the nanoiron technology: From laboratory design to the field test. Sci. Tot. Environ. In press (doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.07.107)

Field Tests

In Hungary in the framework of NanoRem (Inj. 09/2015): PCE contamination

In Lower Saxony (Germany) in the framework of NanoRem (Inj. 04/2012 and 07/2013): PCE contamination

Lizensiert durch das Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH - UFZ
The ScIDre GmbH is a spin-off of the

IFW Dresden

Funded by