Rapid adsorption of toxic Pb(II) ions from aqueous solution using multiwall carbon nanotubes synthesized by microwave chemical vapor deposition technique

Nabisab Mujawar Mubarak , Jaya Narayan Sahu , Ezzat Chan Abdullah , Natesan Subramanian Jayakumar


Received September 30, 2015,Revised December 31, 2015, Accepted January 04, 2016, Available online March 07, 2016

Volume 28,2016,Pages 143-155

Multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were synthesized using a tubular microwave chemical vapor deposition technique, using acetylene and hydrogen as the precursor gases and ferrocene as catalyst. The novel MWCNT samples were tested for their performance in terms of Pb(II) binding. The synthesized MWCNT samples were characterized using Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR), Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (BET), Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) analysis, and the adsorption of Pb(II) was studied as a function of pH, initial Pb(II) concentration, MWCNT dosage, agitation speed, and adsorption time, and process parameters were optimized. The adsorption data followed both Freundlich and Langmuir isotherms. On the basis of the Langmuir model, Qmax was calculated to be 104.2 mg/g for the microwave-synthesized MWCNTs. In order to investigate the dynamic behavior of MWCNTs as an adsorbent, the kinetic data were modeled using pseudo first-order and pseudo second-order equations. Different thermodynamic parameters, viz., ?H0, ?S0 and ?G0 were evaluated and it was found that the adsorption was feasible, spontaneous and endothermic in nature. The statistical analysis revealed that the optimum conditions for the highest removal (99.9%) of Pb(II) are at pH 5, MWCNT dosage 0.1 g, agitation speed 160 r/min and time of 22.5 min with the initial concentration of 10 mg/L. Our results proved that microwave-synthesized MWCNTs can be used as an effective Pb(II) adsorbent due to their high adsorption capacity as well as the short adsorption time needed to achieve equilibrium.

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