Enhanced adsorption of methylene blue on chemically modified graphene nanoplatelets thanks to favorable interactions

  • Rabita Mohd Firdaus
  • Noor Izzati Md Rosli
  • Jaafar Ghanbaja
  • Brigitte VigoloEmail author
  • Abdul Rahman MohamedEmail author
Research Paper


In the present study, the used graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) are of high structural quality offering the opportunity to modify the adsorbent/adsorbate interactions. Their chemical modification by simple acid oxidation leads to their facile dispersion in water. Morphological, structural, and chemical properties of the functionalized GNPs are deeply investigated by a set of complementary characterization techniques. The parametric investigation including effects of initial concentration, contact time, solution pH, and temperature of methylene blue (MB) adsorption allows to identify those being relevant for MB removal enhancement. MB adsorption is found to increase with contact time, solution temperature, and acidic pH. The nature of the MB-GNP interactions and the possible adsorption mechanisms, relatively little understood, are here particularly studied. MB-GNP adsorption is shown to follow a Langmuir isotherm and a pseudo-first-order kinetic model. The adsorption capacity of MB on the chemically modified GNPs (qm = 225 mg/g) with respect to the external surface is relatively high compared to other carbon nanomaterials. Such adsorbent certainly merits further consideration for removal of other dyes and heavy metals from wastewaters.

Graphical abstract


Graphene Functionalization Interactions Adsorption Dye removal Nanocomposite materials 



The authors would like to thank Lionel Aranda for his help for TGA experiment. They also thank Ms. Nawal Berrada and Dr. Alexandre Desforges for the fruitful discussions. We thank Dr. M. Mallet and Mr. A. Renard from the spectroscopy and microscopy Core Facility of SMI LCPME (Université de Lorraine-CNRS–

Funding information

This study is financially supported by the French Embassy in Malaysia especially for Ms. R. Mohd Firdaus’ Fellowship. Financial support is given by the Ministry of Education Malaysia through Universiti Sains Malaysia-NanoMITE (203/PJKIMIA/6720009) and Institute of Postgraduate Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11051_2019_4701_MOESM1_ESM.docx (112 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 112 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering CampusUniversiti Sains MalaysiaNibong TebalMalaysia
  2. 2.Institut Jean LamourCNRS-Université de Lorraine UMR 7198NancyFrance

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