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Water SA

On-line version ISSN 1816-7950
Print version ISSN 0378-4738


NTHUNYA, Lebea N et al. Electrospun chitosan-based nanofibres for removal of phenols from drinking water. Water SA [online]. 2018, vol.44, n.3, pp.377-386. ISSN 1816-7950.

Chitosan-based nanofibres were synthesized using a fibre electrospinning technique and tested for the removal of 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol from aqueous solutions. The downside of chitosan-based materials is swelling. In this study, it was found that the addition of polyisoprene not only improved the electrospinning ability of chitosan but also reduced the swelling of the nanofibres by 50%. The adsorption studies of 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol on the chitosan-based nanofibres were conducted in a batch process. The nanofibres were found to remove up to 90% of 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol with an adsorption reduction capacity of 12% at each cycle of reusability test. The reduction capacity was associated with the chemical interaction of the adsorbate and the adsorbent. This indicated that the nanofibres can effectively remove 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol from water for at least 3 cycles. The adsorption efficiency improved as the degree of cross-linking was reduced and the adsorption mechanism followed the Freundlich isotherm suggesting that the adsorption of 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol occurred in different layers on the surface of the nanofibres. The degree of crosslinking of the electrospun nanofibres with glutaraldehyde was found to affect the adsorption capacity. Nanofibres with different degrees of crosslinking were used to study the effect of pH, adsorbent dose, and initial concentration.

Keywords : 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol; adsorption; chitosan nanofibres; the degree of cross-linking; removal efficiency.

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