Electrospun PLA/Î±-Fe<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub>Chitosan Fiber Composite for Removal of Selected Heavy Metals in Aqueous Solution
Keywords:Î±-Fe2O3, chitosan, electrospinning, nanosorbent
Heavy metals released into the environment have posed a significant threat to the environment and public health because of their toxicity and persistence in environment. The contamination of wastewaters and surface waters by toxic heavy metals is a worldwide environmental problem. Recently, extensive efforts have been made on remediation of soils and wastewater polluted by toxic metals and several approaches for remediation of aqueous systems contaminated with heavy metals have been reported. Different nanomaterials with specific morphology and structure have been widely explored as adsorbents or nanocatalysts to remove heavy metal ions and organic dyes. In this study,electrospun PLA/modified Î±-Fe2O3 chitosan fiber composite was made by impregnating Î±-Fe2O3 into low viscous chitosan and adding the mixture into dissolved polylactic acid (PLA). Preliminary characterization of the electrospun fiber composite was done using FTIR and SEM. The electrospun fiber composites were soaked into aqueous solutions of Ni2+ and Pb2+ at 25 ppm and 75 ppm concentration and its capacity to adsorb heavy metal cations was measured using ICP-MS. The fibers produced have showed both the chemical characteristics of chitosan and PLA with diameter size ranging from 0.578 Î¼m to 1.263 Î¼m. Further, it was found to have high adsorption efficiency for both the Ni2+ and Pb2+ at low and high concentration but not showing significant differences in the adsorption efficiency. Results showed that fibers were produced by electrospinning the PLA/ modified Î±-Fe2O3 chitosan composite blend. The obtained fibers efficiently adsorbed Ni2+ and Pb2+ however, the addition of Î±-Fe2O3 showed no significant contribution to the adsorption of heavy metals.
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