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Production of polyacrylonitrile/ionic covalent organic framework hybrid nanofibers for effective removal of chromium(VI) from water

by Amali Herath, Maryam Salehi, Santa Jansone-popova
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Journal of Hazardous Materials
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Hexavalent Cr(VI) found in industrial wastewater is a proven carcinogen which causes serious health issues in humans around the world. This study presents a novel method to enhance the Cr(VI) oxyanion removal from wastewater by polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibers through incorporation of a guanidinium-based ionic covalent organic framework (BT-DG) in the nanofibers structure. Simple electrospinning technique was employed to produce PAN nanofibers and BT-DG was synthesized through condensation between benzene-1,3,5-tricarbaldehyde and N,N'-diaminoguanidine monohydrochloride. In-situ polymerization of BT-DG onto PAN nanofibers resulted in generation of hybrid PAN-BT-DG nanofibers. This modified PAN-BT-DG was characterized by obtaining its point of zero charge (PZC), differential scanning calorimeter (DSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) morphology and surface elements and oxidation states by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). PAN-BT-DG exhibited positive surface charge below pH 4, making it an outstanding adsorbent, for Cr(VI) removal. Cr(VI) adsorption onto PAN-BT-DG followed pseudo second order kinetics and adsorption data fitted well to Freundlich isotherm model. Highest Cr(VI) removal was obtained at 55 ℃ with a maximum Langmuir adsorption capacity of 173 mg/g at pH 3. Kinetic studies revealed that Cr(VI) adsorption onto PAN-BT-DG is endothermic and thermodynamically feasible. Desorption studies were conducted on PAN-BT-DG using 1 M NaOH as the stripping solvent and PAN-BT-DG exhibited excellent regeneration after five consecutive cycles.