Turkish Journal of Chemistry

Author ORCID Identifier

AMARA NASIR: 0000-0002-0557-6311

ASIF RAZA: 0000-0003-3069-8027

MEHWISH TAHIR: 0000-0002-6016-0079

SHAMILA IMTIAZ: 0000-0001-7107-9404

TARIQ YASIN: 0000-0002-9121-4041




In this study, we synthesized novel, economically efficient phosphonic acid-functionalized grafted sepiolite nanohybrids for selective elimination of copper ions from water. These nanohybrids were prepared by graft polymerization of glycidyl methacrylate onto sepiolite. We utilized free radical graft polymerization to graft glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) onto silanized sepiolite. The nanohybrids obtained exhibited a grafting percentage of 479% at 0.3 g of KPS initiator, 15% GMA monomer, and after 4 h of reaction. In pursuit of selectively removing metal ions from water, the nanohybrid with the highest grafting (PGE3) was chemically treated with phosphoric acid to introduce phosphonic acid groups on it. FTIR, XRD, SEM, CHO analysis, BET, and TGA analysis were utilized to characterize the developed nanohybrids. Batch adsorption studies were carried out using AAS process, examining the impact of pH, adsorbent weight, contact time, adsorbate concentration, and temperature on the adsorption process. Due to the selectivity of phosphonic acid groups towards copper ions, phosphonic acid-functionalized grafted sepiolite nanohybrid (PGE3-P) was used for copper ions removal from its aqueous solution. The maximum adsorption capacity of PGE3-P adsorbents was 134.5 mg/g for copper ions. The data from kinetic studies suggests that the adsorption process of copper ions followed a pseudosecond-order model. Furthermore, Langmuir isotherm proved to be a more fitting model in equilibrium isothermal investigations.The thermodynamic analysis of the data indicates that the adsorption of copper ions by PGE3-P is an endothermic and spontaneous process. The development of this phosphonic acid-functionalized grafted sepiolite nanohybrid adsorbent is a new contribution into the field of adsorption. The developed material can be utilized as selective adsorbent for elimination of other heavy metals from water.


Nanohybrids, sepiolite, glycidyl methacrylate, free radical graft polymerization, phosphonation, adsorption

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