Polymer Bulletin

, Volume 76, Issue 1, pp 175–203 | Cite as

Enhanced removal of methyl violet 6B cationic dye from aqueous solutions using calcium alginate hydrogel grafted with poly (styrene-co-maleic anhydride)

  • Asma EskhanEmail author
  • Fawzi Banat
  • Munirasu Selvaraj
  • Mohammad Abu Haija
Original Paper


Calcium alginate hydrogel was grafted with poly (styrene-co-maleic anhydride) synthetic polymer (PSMA) and used as an adsorbent for the effective removal of methyl violet 6B cationic dye from aqueous solutions. The characteristics of native and grafted alginate hydrogels were investigated using FTIR, Zetasizer and TGA/DSC. The carboxyl groups’ content and the swelling properties were determined as well. Batch adsorption experiments were conducted as a function of initial dye concentration, adsorbent dosage, solution ionic strength, solution pH, time of contact and temperature. Results revealed that grafting of PSMA onto alginate improved the removal percentage of the dye up to 30%. The highest adsorption capacity of the dye was obtained at a temperature of 40 °C, a pH range of 5–11 and at lower solution ionic strengths. The kinetics of adsorption followed the pseudo-second-order model and the equilibrium data could be better described by the Langmuir isotherm. The maximum adsorption capacity was found to be 109.9 mg/g suggesting the promising potential of our low-cost adsorbent for the removal of cationic dyes from aqueous solutions. A desorption study was carried out where the adsorbent showed high desorption characteristics and it could be reused at least for five consecutive cycles.


Adsorption Cationic dye Methyl violet Grafting Alginate Poly (styrene-co-maleic anhydride) 

List of symbols

S %

The swelling percentage


The weight of the swollen dried beads


The weight of the dried beads


The concentration of the NaOH solution (mol/L)


The volume of the NaOH solution (L)


The concentration of the HCl solution (mol/L)


The volume of HCl spent in the titration of the excessive non-reacted base (L)


The dry mass of the beads (g)


The initial methyl violet concentration (mg/L)


The methyl violet concentration at time t (mg/L)


The mass of adsorbent (g)


The volume of solution (L)


The methyl violet concentration at equilibrium (mg/L)


The adsorption capacities of methyl violet at time (mg/g)


The adsorption capacities of methyl violet at equilibrium (mg/g)


The pseudo-first-order rate constant of adsorption (min−1)


The pseudo-second-order rate constant of adsorption (g mg−1 min−1)


The linear regression correlation coefficient


The intraparticle diffusion rate constant (mg g−1 min−1/2)


A constant related to the thickness of the boundary layer (mg/L)


A constant stands for the maximum adsorption capacity (mg/g)


Langmuir isotherm constant related to the affinity of the adsorbate with the adsorbent (L/mg)


A dimensionless separation factor that indicates the type of Langmuir isotherm whether it is favorable, unfavorable or linear


The Freundlich isotherm constant (mg(1−1/n) L(1/n) g−1)


A constant related to the adsorption intensity and the degree of heterogeneity of the adsorbent surface


The dimensionless equilibrium constant


The standard entropy change during the adsorption process (J mol−1 K−1)


The standard enthalpy change during the adsorption process (J/mol)


The standard Gibbs free energy change during the adsorption process (J/mol)


The universal gas constant (8.314 J mol−1 K−1)


The temperature (K)


The activation energy of an adsorption process (J/mol)


A temperature-independent constant called frequency factor (g/mg min)



This work was supported by The Petroleum Institute Research Center, Abu Dhabi, UAE (Grant Number LTR14013).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asma Eskhan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fawzi Banat
    • 1
  • Munirasu Selvaraj
    • 1
  • Mohammad Abu Haija
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering, The Petroleum InstituteKhalifa University of Science and TechnologyAbu DhabiUAE
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, The Petroleum InstituteKhalifa University of Science and TechnologyAbu DhabiUAE

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