Modified Hyphaene thebaica fiber for the sequestration of heavy metal ions from aqueous solution

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Research Paper 01/02/2020
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Modified Hyphaene thebaica fiber for the sequestration of heavy metal ions from aqueous solution

Ahmed Salisu, Muhammad Saleh Salga
J. Bio. Env. Sci.16( 2), 1-8, February 2020.
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Lignocellulose biomass is an abundant and sustainable polymer in nature that can be modified for other useful products. The objective of this study is to modify Hyphaene thebaica fiber by grafting polyacrylonitrile via free radical polymerization in aqueous medium and determine its potential to sequester metal ions from aqueous solution. Fresh stalk of Hyphaene thebaica (300g) was pulverized and subjected to alkali pre-treatment (mercerization). The fiber was grafted with Polyacrylonitrile via microwave radiation using potassium persulphate (KPS) as chemical initiator. The graft copolymer synthesized was characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscope (SEM). The graft copolymer was evaluated for sequestration of Pb2+ and Cu2+ ions from aqueous solution using batch adsorption method. The results showed that the highest grafting percentage 56% was achieved using acrylonitrile (5g), KPS (0.3g) and irradiation time (3 mins). The maximum adsorption capacity of the adsorbent was 84mg/g and 63mg/g for Pb2+ and Cu2+ respectively. The equilibrium data followed the Langmuir isotherm model, which assumed a monolayer coverage and uniform activity distribution on the adsorbent surface. The grafting of Polyacrylonitrile onto Hyphaene thebaica was successfully carried out and formation of the product was confirmed by FTIR, SEM and XRD analyses. The graft copolymer showed moderate performance in the removal of Pb (II) and Cu (II) in aqueous solution thus can be utilized as a low cost adsorbent material.


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