Carbon nanocages as heavy metal ion adsorbents

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Burke, David M.
O'Byrne, Justin P.
Fleming, Peter G.
Borah, Dipu
Morris, Michael A.
Holmes, Justin D.
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Heavy metal ion contamination in drinking water poses a major risk to human health, whilst contamination in wastewater streams can cause damage to the wider environment. In this study carbon nanocages, synthesised using a supercritical fluid deposition method, were examined as adsorbents of Pb2+ ions from aqueous solutions. Through careful selection of the catalyst and the carbon deposition temperature and pressure, high yields of nanocages with surface areas up to 1175 m2 g−1 were synthesised. These high surface area materials were subsequently tested for their ability to absorb Pb2+ ions, as a function of pH, from simulated wastewater. The nanocages were found to be effective at removing the Pb2+ ions at levels of 11.1 mg g−1, compared to 7.6 mg g−1 for commercially available activated carbon. The kinetics of metal ion adsorption by the nanocages and activated carbon can be described by a pseudo-second-order kinetics model, with a rate coefficient (k2) of 4.8 × 102 g mg−1 min−1.
Carbon , Nanocages , Lead ions , Adsorption , Remediation
Burke, D. M., O'Byrne, J. P., Fleming, P. G., Borah, D., Morris, M. A. and Holmes, J. D. (2011) 'Carbon nanocages as heavy metal ion adsorbents', Desalination, 280(1), pp. 87-94. doi: 10.1016/j.desal.2011.06.053