Lignin-rich sulfated wood nanofibers as high-performing adsorbents for the removal of lead and copper from water
Sirviö, Juho Antti; Visanko, Miikka (2019-09-06)
Juho Antti Sirviö, Miikka Visanko, Lignin-rich sulfated wood nanofibers as high-performing adsorbents for the removal of lead and copper from water, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Volume 383, 2020, 121174, ISSN 0304-3894, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2019.121174
© 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/).
Lignin-rich wood nanofibers (WNFs) were investigated as adsorbents for heavy metals. Lignin-free cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) produced from bleached cellulose fibers were used as a reference. Two raw materials were used to produce WNFs: groundwood pulp as industrially produced wood fibers and sawdust as an abundantly available low-value industrial side stream. WNFs and reference CNFs were produced using a reactive deep eutectic solvent to obtain nanofibers with abundant sulfate groups on their surfaces. With a similar amount of sulfate groups, WNFs had a higher adsorbent performance compared to CNFs and, at low metal concentrations (0.24 mmol/l), the removal of both metals was almost quantitate with WNFs. However, it was noted that, at pHs 4 and 5, the sodium present in the buffer solution interfered with the adsorption, leading to lower adsorption capacities compared to the capacity at pH 3. In addition, in the case of lead, the adsorption capacity dramatically decreased at a high metal concertation, indicating that a high lead concentration results in the saturation of adsorption sites of sulfated nanofibers, leading to a decreased adsorption capacity. Nevertheless, it was observed that WNFs had a higher tolerance to high metal concentrations than CNFs.
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