Synthesis and characterization of adsorbents based on RGO for removing heavy metal ions via cooperation mechanism

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University of New Brunswick


Population expansion and increased activities in the industry have contributed to water contamination. Existing water pollution comes from heavy metals, organic dyes, oils, organic solvents, etc., and raises enormous environmental concerns. Adsorption technology is regarded as an effective method due to its cost-effectiveness, easy operation, and low energy-consuming nature. Considering the removal efficiency, carbon-based material such as graphene oxide is one of the promising candidates. The novel reduced graphene oxide (RGO)-based adsorbents with multiple active sites were prepared by modifying RGO with diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) in conjunction with polyethyleneimine (PEI). The resultant adsorbents were comprehensively characterized and utilized for removing both positively and negatively charged heavy metal ions at low concentrations including Pb (II), Cu (II), Cr (VI). The removal rate of RGO-(PEI-DTPA) for Pb (II) 2 mg L -1 , Cu (II) 3 mg L -1 and Cr (VI) 3 mg L -1 reached 99 %, 83 % and 99 %, respectively.