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Removal of lead from aqueous solutions by a poly(acrylic acid)/bentonite nanocomposite

Abstract

We synthesized a novel poly acrylic acid–organobentonite (PAA–Bent) nanocomposite by successive intercalation of cetyltrimethylammonium (CTA) surfactant and polyacrylic acid (PAA) into the bentonite (Bent) interlayer spaces. The surfactant-modified clay (CTA–Bent) and PAA–Bent nanocomposite were characterized by XRD and FT-IR techniques and used for removal of Pb(II) from aqueous solution. The XRD results confirmed the intercalation of CTA and PAA into the interlayer spaces of the bentonite increasing the d001 spacing of the clay from 12.2 up to 38.9 Å. FT-IR analysis of the modified clay samples revealed the functional groups of CTA and PAA constituents alighted on the bentonite surfaces. Maximum Pb sorption capacity of the Bent and PAA–Bent predicted by Langmuir model were 52.3 and 93.0 mg g−1, respectively, showing that the synthesized nanocomposite superiorly adsorbed Pb from the solution as compared to the Bent. The maximum Pb removal efficiency of 99.6 % was achieved by the nanocomposite at 25 °C with <30 min contact time for a 7.5 g L−1 solid-to-liquid ratio and an initial metal concentration of 400 mg L−1. The results indicated that PAA–Bent nanocomposite can be efficiently used as a superadsorbent for the removal of Pb(II) from aqueous solution.

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