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Uptake of heavy metal ions from aqueous media by hydrogels and their conversion to nanoparticles for generation of a catalyst system: two-fold application study

Javed, Rida, Shah, Luqman Ali, Sayed, Murtaza, Khan, Muhammad Saleem
RSC advances 2018 v.8 no.27 pp. 14787-14797
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, absorbents, absorption, catalysts, catalytic activity, chemical reduction, cobalt, copper, heavy metals, hydrogels, metal ions, methyl orange, methylene blue, nanoparticles, nickel, nitrobenzenes, p-nitrophenol, pollutants, quaternary ammonium compounds, scanning electron microscopy, sorption isotherms, thermogravimetry, zinc
Poly(methacrylic acid) (P(MAA)), poly(acrylamide) (P(AAm)) and poly(3-acrylamidopropyltrimethyl ammonium chloride) (P(APTMACl)) were synthesized as anionic, neutral and cationic hydrogels, respectively. The synthesized hydrogels have the ability to be used as absorbents for the removal of selected heavy metal ions such as Cu²⁺, Co²⁺, Ni²⁺ and Zn²⁺ from aqueous media. Absorption studies revealed that the absorption of metal ions by the hydrogels followed the order Cu²⁺ > Ni²⁺ > Co²⁺ > Zn²⁺. For the mechanism of absorption, both Freundlich and Langmuir absorption isotherms were applied. Metal ion entrapped hydrogels were treated using an in situ chemical reduction method in order to convert the metal ions into metal nanoparticles for the synthesis of hybrid hydrogels. The synthesis and morphology were confirmed using FT-IR and SEM, while the absorbed metal amounts were measured using TGA and AAS. The hybrid hydrogels were further used as catalysts for the reduction of macro (methylene blue, methyl orange and congo red) and micro (4-nitrophenol and nitrobenzene) pollutants from the aqueous environment. The catalytic performance and re-usability of the hybrid hydrogels were successfully investigated.