Chemical Engineering Journal, Vol.369, 529-541, 2019
A facile one-pot hydrothermal synthesis of hydroxyapatite/biochar nanocomposites: Adsorption behavior and mechanisms for the removal of copper(II) from aqueous media
In this study, hydroxyapatite/biochar nanocomposites (HAP/BC-NCs) were synthesized through a simple one-pot hydrothermal process and utilized as an adsorbent for the removal of copper(II) from aqueous media. Characterization results revealed that rod-shaped HAP nanoparticles were successfully incorporated on the surfaces of synthesized HAP/BC-NCs. A set of systematically designed batch experiments were carried out to determine the influences of adsorbent dosage, solution pH, ionic strength, and temperature on the adsorption behavior of the HAP/BC-NCs. Overall findings from batch experiments and extended X-ray absorption fine structure analysis demonstrated that the potential mechanisms responsible for the removal of Cu(II) from aqueous media are cation exchange between Cu2+ in solution and Ca2+ in the HAP on the surfaces of the assynthesized nanocomposites and the formation of inner-sphere surface complexes on the surfaces of the HAP/BCNCs. Kinetic studies revealed that the adsorption process follows the pseudo-second-order model and that the overall adsorption rate is controlled by film diffusion as the dominant mechanism and intraparticle diffusion as a secondary mechanism. Adsorption isotherms were accurately represented by a Langmuir isotherm model and the maximum adsorption capacity was determined to be 99.01 mg/g at 298 K, which represents a higher efficiency for Cu(II) adsorption compared to previously reported composite materials. Thermodynamic analysis indicated that the process is thermodynamically spontaneous and endothermic process. Overall, the findings presented in this paper suggest that HAP/BC-NCs have promising applicability for the removal of heavy metals from aqueous media as an alternative, low-cost, and eco-friendly adsorbent for environmental remediation.