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Novel highly porous magnetic hydrogel beads composed of chitosan and sodium citrate: an effective adsorbent for the removal of heavy metals from aqueous solutions

Pu, Shengyan, Ma, Hui, Zinchenko, Anatoly, Chu, Wei
Environmental science and pollution research international 2017 v.24 no.19 pp. 16520-16530
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-radiation, adsorbents, adsorption, aqueous solutions, cations, chitosan, coprecipitation, crosslinking, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, heavy metals, hydrogels, iron oxides, kinetics, lead, metal ions, models, nanoparticles, sodium citrate, sorption isotherms, thermal stability, thermogravimetry, transmission electron microscopy, water content
This research focuses on the removal of heavy metal ions from aqueous solutions using magnetic chitosan hydrogel beads as a potential sorbent. Highly porous magnetic chitosan hydrogel (PMCH) beads were prepared by a combination of in situ co-precipitation and sodium citrate cross-linking. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy indicated that the high sorption efficiency of metal cations is attributable to the hydroxyl, amino, and carboxyl groups in PMCH beads. Thermogravimetric analysis demonstrated that introducing Fe₃O₄ nanoparticles increases the thermal stability of the adsorbent. Laser confocal microscopy revealed highly uniform porous structure of the resultant PMCH beads, which contained a high moisture content (93%). Transmission electron microscopy micrographs showed that the Fe₃O₄ nanoparticles, with a mean diameter of 5 ± 2 nm, were well dispersed inside the chitosan beads. Batch adsorption experiments and adsorption kinetic analysis revealed that the adsorption process obeys a pseudo-second-order model. Isotherm data were satisfactorily described by the Langmuir equation, and the maximum adsorption capacity of the adsorbent was 84.02 mg/g. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectra analyses were performed to confirm the adsorption of Pb²⁺ and to identify the adsorption mechanism.