Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 27, Issue 8, pp 1642–1652 | Cite as

Removal of Nitrate from Water by Alginate-Derived Carbon Aerogel Modified by Protonated Cross-Linked Chitosan

  • N. Raeisi Kheirabadi
  • N. Salman TabriziEmail author
  • P. Sangpour
Original paper


In this study, a carbonaceous aerogel with superior structural properties was synthesized from sodium alginate with a specific surface area and density of about 470 m2 g−1 and 0.05 g cm−3, respectively. In order to adsorb nitrate from water, the surface of the aerogel was modified by protonated cross-linked chitosan. To investigate the morphology, elemental composition, crystalline phases and surface functional groups of the adsorbent, various techniques such as field emission scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were employed. To study the performance of this green adsorbent in nitrate removal process, the effect of nitrate initial concentration, adsorbent dosage, pH of solutions were investigated in batch mode. It was revealed that the Langmuir isotherm model could properly describe the experimental equilibrium data and the maximum adsorption capacity was evaluated to be about 18 mg g−1 at neutral pH and room temperature. Besides, the kinetic data perfectly followed the pseudo-second order model. Thermodynamic analysis showed that the adsorption reaction was spontaneous, exothermic with decreased randomness at the solid–liquid interface. The macroscopic size of the adsorbent allowed its facile separation from the solution.


Nitrate adsorption Carbon aerogel Surface modification 



The present study was jointly funded by Materials and Energy Research Center (MERC, No. 521394001) and Iran National Science Foundation (INSF, No. 92029037).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Raeisi Kheirabadi
    • 1
  • N. Salman Tabrizi
    • 2
    Email author
  • P. Sangpour
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nanotechnology and Advanced MaterialsMaterials and Energy Research CenterKarajIran
  2. 2.Department of EnergyMaterials and Energy Research CenterKarajIran

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