Journal of the Iranian Chemical Society

, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp 2765–2776 | Cite as

Synthesis and characterization of magnetic poly(acrylic acid) hydrogel fabricated with cobalt nanoparticles for adsorption and catalytic applications

  • Tariq Mahmood Ansari
  • Muhammad AjmalEmail author
  • Sadia Saeed
  • Hina Naeem
  • Hafiz Badaruddin Ahmad
  • Khalid Mahmood
  • Zahoor H. Farooqi
Original Paper


The present study aimed to synthesize poly(acrylic acid) hydrogel embedded with magnetic cobalt (Co) nanoparticles and to investigate their potential in adsorption and catalysis. The hydrogel was prepared by facile free radical polymerization reaction and Co nanoparticles were fabricated within hydrogel by reducing Co (II) ions using NaBH4 as reducing agent. Co nanoparticles within hydrogel system imparted magnetic properties to the resulting composite gel and also increased the adsorption capacity. The swelling study of hydrogel was carried out by gravimetric analysis. Different functional groups were identified by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy analysis was done to investigate dispersion of Co nanoparticles in hydrogel. The bare hydrogel along with Co nanoparticles loaded gel were tested as adsorbent systems for the removal of a cationic dye (methylene blue) from aqueous solution. 95% removal of methylene blue was achieved with a highest adsorption capacity of 836.5 mg/g of adsorbent. The famous adsorption isotherms were used to evaluate adsorption data. Results showed that Freundlich isotherm model was followed with R2 value of 0.95. The hydrogel was also used for catalytic reduction in a toxic pollutant, i.e., 4-nitrophenol. Experimental data for 4-nitrophenol reduction followed pseudo first order kinetics model. Activation energy and apparent rate constant were calculated as 9.24 kJ/mol and 0.24 min−1, respectively. Recycling of the magnetic poly(acrylic acid) hydrogel fabricated with Cobalt nanoparticles was carried out for four consecutive cycles and no significant loss in catalytic activity was observed.


Magnetic hydrogel Adsorption Catalysis Methylene blue 4-Nitrophenol 


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Copyright information

© Iranian Chemical Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Chemical SciencesBahauddin Zakariya UniversityMultanPakistan
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of EducationAttockPakistan
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryQuaid-i-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  4. 4.Institute of ChemistryUniversity of the PunjabLahorePakistan

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