The formation of insoluble mercury amalgams from aqueous solution through the reaction with noble metals is a promising method for environmental clean-up. This work reports a promising avenue whereby mercury (II) ions are removed from aqueous solution using silver nanoparticles immobilized on the surface of modified silica. Commercially available fumed silica was treated with triethoxysilane in order to form silicon hydride groups on the surface. The modified silica was subsequently used in generation of silver nanoparticles on the surface of silica substrate. It was determined that the synthesized silver nanoparticles are of high purity and stably immobilized on the silica support; the concentration of silver nitrate solution and contact time between silicon hydride groups and silver ions linearly affect the size of generated metal nanoparticles. Silver nanoparticles on the silica support were tested in the process of mercury (II) ions removal.Keywords: Silver nanoparticles, silicon hydride groups, mercury removal, high purity, size controlled, nanoparticle synthesis
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