Fabrication and characterization of magneto responsive carbon nanotube-infused polysulfone (cnt-ipsf) nanocomposites for water purification
Silvanus, Shisia Kuboka
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The search for materials for purification of polluted water is growing daily with the advent of nanoparticles. This is particularly important because many populations of people in the developing countries lack clean water due to water pollution. Water pollutants such as heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are known to have adverse effects on humans and environment. This work investigated the potential of synthesized magnetoresponsive CNT polysulfone infused polymeric nanocomposites (CNT-IPSF) in water purification against heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) pollution. Adsorption mechanism was studied at constant initial Pb(II) ion concentrations, nanocomposite dosage, contact time, and pH. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with internal diameters in the range of 20-30 nm were prepared via chemical vapour deposition (CVD) process. Magnetite and silica coated magnetite nanoparticles (NPs) prepared by solvothermal and sol gel methods respectively exhibited UV-Visible spectrometric spectra at about 395 nm and 396 nm respectively. Successfully synthesized Fe3O4 nanoparticles exhibited FT-IR absorption bands at 460 and 521 cm-1 which ascribed for the vibrations of Fe-O bond. X-ray diffraction analysis of core shell NPs showed strongest peak at D(311) plane, characteristic of a cubic spinel structure. The core shell nanoparticles obtained displayed a thin hysteresis loop having saturation magnetization of 2.2 emu g-1 with ferrimagnetic property. Removal efficiency of the synthesized CNT-PSF/Fe3O4 nanocomposite for Pb(II) ions and phenanthrenes was 69 % and 63 % respectively compared to that for a commercially available activated carbon which recorded 54 % and 53 % respectively. Adsorption of Pb(II) ions and phenanthrenes followed pseudo-second-order while Freundlich adsorption isotherm gave the best-fit for the two pollutants. Regeneration for Pb(II) ions of above 60 % and a gradual decrease in desorption efficiency for phenanthrenes of up to 50 % after three desorption cycles confirmed the reusability of the fabricated magnetoresponsive CNT IPSF/Fe3O4 nanocomposites. This study has developed a novel CNT-IPSF/Fe3O4 nanocomposite material with higher removal efficiency for water pollutants than commercially available activated carbon for use in water treatment.