Synthesis of nanocellulose aerogels and Cu-BTC/nanocellulose aerogel composites for adsorption of organic dyes and heavy metal ions

Sci Rep. 2021 Sep 17;11(1):18553. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-97861-9.

ABSTRACT

MOFs compounds with open metal sites, particularly Cu-BTC, have great potential for adsorption and catalysis applications. However, the powdery morphology limits their applications. One of the almost new ways to overcome this problem is to trap them in a standing and flexible aerogel matrix to form a hierarchical porous composite. In this work, Cu-BTC/CNC (crystalline nanocellulose) and Cu-BTC/NFC (nanofibrillated cellulose) aerogel composites were synthesized using a direct mixing method by the addition of Cu-BTC powder to the liquid precursor solution followed by gelation and freeze-drying. Also, pure nanocellulose aerogels (CNC and NFC aerogels) have been synthesized from cellulose isolated from peanut shells. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectra, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were utilized to evaluate the structure and morphology of the prepared materials. The adsorption ability of pure CNC aerogel and Cu-BTC/NFC aerogel composite for organic dye (Congo Red) and heavy metal ion (Mn7+) was studied and determined by the UV-Vis spectrophotometry and inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), respectively. It was concluded that Cu-BTC/NFC aerogel composite shows excellent adsorption capacity for Congo Red. The adsorption process of this composite is better described by the pseudo-second-order kinetic model and Langmuir isotherm, with a maximum monolayer adsorption capacity of 39 mg/g for Congo Red. Nevertheless, CNC aerogel shows no adsorption for Congo Red. Both CNC aerogel and Cu-BTC/NFC aerogel composite act as a monolith standing solid reducer, which means they could remove permanganate ions from water by reducing it into manganese dioxide without releasing any secondary product in the solution.

PMID:34535724 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-021-97861-9

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