Modification of MCM-48 Mesoporous Silica for the Removal of Lead and Cadmium Metal Ions from Aqueous Solutions

Document Type : Research Paper


1 MSc in Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Natural Resources and Marine Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Noor

2 Assoc. Prof. of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Natural Resources and Marine Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Noor

3 Faculty Member of Organization for Educational Research and Planning (OERP), Tehran

4 Academic Staff Member, Faculty of Environment, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


Mesoporous silica adsorbents have been gaining increasing importance in the removal of heavy metal ions from water and wastewater. MCM-48 is a mesoporous silica adsorbent whose adsorption capacity of heavy metal ions can be drastically improved when it is modified by functional groups. The present study investigated the removal of lead and cadmium metal ions from aqueous solutions using the modified NH2-NH-NH-MCM-48. The nanoparticles were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and X-ray Diffraction (XRD). The adsorption process was optimized by varying adsorbent doses from 0.125 to 10 g/l, the initial solution pH from 2 to 6, and the initial metal ion concentration from 5 to 60 mg/l. The equilibrium data were analyzed using the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms using a nonlinear regression analysis. According to the parameters of the Langmuir isotherm, NH2-NH-NH-MCM-48 recorded a higher maximum adsorption capacity for both Cd(II) and Pb(II) than MCM-48. The maximum adsorption capacities of NH2-NH-NH-MCM-48 for Cd(II) and Pb(II) were calculated to be 82.7 and 119.24 mg/g, respectively. The results suggest that MCM-48 modified with the amine functional group to synthesize NH2-NH-NH-MCM-48 significantly improves its adsorption capacity so that it can be recommended as an effective adsorbent for the efficient removal of Cd(II) and Pb(II) metal ions from aqueous solutions.


Main Subjects

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