Novel highly porous magnetic hydrogel beads composed of chitosan and sodium citrate: an effective adsorbent for the removal of heavy metals from aqueous solutions

Shengyan Pu, Hui Ma, Anatoly Zinchenko, Wei Chu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


This research focuses on the removal of heavy metal ions from aqueous solutions using magnetic chitosan hydrogel beads as a potential sorbent. Highly porous magnetic chitosan hydrogel (PMCH) beads were prepared by a combination of in situ co-precipitation and sodium citrate cross-linking. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy indicated that the high sorption efficiency of metal cations is attributable to the hydroxyl, amino, and carboxyl groups in PMCH beads. Thermogravimetric analysis demonstrated that introducing Fe3O4nanoparticles increases the thermal stability of the adsorbent. Laser confocal microscopy revealed highly uniform porous structure of the resultant PMCH beads, which contained a high moisture content (93%). Transmission electron microscopy micrographs showed that the Fe3O4nanoparticles, with a mean diameter of 5 ± 2 nm, were well dispersed inside the chitosan beads. Batch adsorption experiments and adsorption kinetic analysis revealed that the adsorption process obeys a pseudo-second-order model. Isotherm data were satisfactorily described by the Langmuir equation, and the maximum adsorption capacity of the adsorbent was 84.02 mg/g. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectra analyses were performed to confirm the adsorption of Pb2+and to identify the adsorption mechanism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16520-16530
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Bioadsorbent
  • Heavy metal
  • Magnetic chitosan beads
  • Porous structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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