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Adsorption of Reactive Blue 19 from aqueous solution by chitin nanofiber-/nanowhisker-based hydrogels

Liu, Liang, Wang, Rong, Yu, Juan, Hu, Lijiang, Wang, Zhiguo, Fan, Yimin
RSC advances 2018 v.8 no.28 pp. 15804-15812
adsorbents, adsorption, aqueous solutions, chitin, dyes, environmental protection, fabrics, hydrogels, models, nanocrystals, nanofibers, pH, sorption isotherms, temperature
Physical hydrogels prepared from partially deacetylated chitin nanofibers/nanowhiskers (DEChNs) were prepared and evaluated as a new adsorbent for Reactive Blue 19 (RB19) solutions. The effects of pH, initial dye concentration, contact time and temperature were investigated. The optimum pH value for the adsorption experiments was found to be 1.0; as pH increases, the dye adsorption capacity decreases gradually. The adsorption of RB19 onto partially deacetylated chitin nanofiber-/nanowhisker-based hydrogels (DEChNs-Gels) was relatively fast, as the equilibrium could be reached in almost 20 min. The maximum adsorption capacity was found to be 1331 mg g⁻¹ at pH = 1 (degree of deacetylation (DDA) = 23%, dye concentration = 1000 mg L⁻¹), considering the practical applications, the adsorption capacity in pH = 5 (838 mg g⁻¹) was believed to have more practical significance. A pseudo-second-order kinetics model agreed very well with the experimental results. Equilibrium data also fitted well to the Freundlich adsorption isotherm model in this study. The DEChNs-Gels exhibited a high efficiency for removing RB19 from aqueous solutions as a result of their nanofibrillar network and excellent pore structure accompanied by the presence of amino groups. Even when the DDA was lowered to 15%, the adsorption capacity reached 940 mg g⁻¹ due to its nanostructural assembly of nanofibers/nanowhiskers, which showed great advantages compared to highly deacetylated chitosan-based adsorbents (DDA > 70%). Considering the issue of environmental protection and adsorption efficiency, DEChNs-Gels have become a potential substitute for chitosan-based adsorbents due to the milder deacetylation process and superior performance, making this material an attractive adsorbent for textile dyes.