, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 3073–3087 | Cite as

A versatile amphiprotic cotton fiber for the removal of dyes and metal ions

  • Jiaqing Xiong
  • Chenlu Jiao
  • Chenmei Li
  • Desuo Zhang
  • Hong Lin
  • Yuyue Chen
Original Paper


Adsorption is an efficient method to combat the important issues of water pollution caused by dyes and metal ions. However, due to the surface charge diversity of pollutants, there is a pressing need to develop an all-round, efficient, cheap and environmentally friendly adsorbent. To this end, this work synthesized an amphiprotic adsorbent based on cotton fibers, which were chemically modified with a cationic monomer (3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl trimethyl ammonium chloride) and anionic monomer (2-acrylamide-2-methyl propane sulfonic acid) respectively. The resultant amphiprotic cotton (AP-cotton) can cope with both of anionic and cationic pollutants. Its adsorption behavior as influenced by the pH value, adsorption time and initial concentration of various adsorbates was investigated. The results demonstrate that the adsorption equilibrium was reached within 4 h for Congo red (CR) and methylene blue (MB), 2 h for Cu2+ and 3 h for Pb2+, respectively. Adsorption kinetics showed that the adsorption rate was well fitted with the pseudo-second-order rate model, and the best adsorption isotherms fitted the Langmuir model. The Langmuir maximum adsorption capacities were 175.1 mg/g for CR, 113.1 mg/g for MB, 88.9 mg/g for Cu2+ and 70.6 mg/g for Pb2+, respectively, and the adsorption capacities could be maintained above 90 % after six regenerations. The all-round adsorption capacity and good regeneration performance of AP-cotton benefited from its hollow, flat-banded structure and amphiprotic characteristic. Therefore, AP-cotton exhibited a much better application potential compared with many other reported adsorbents based on natural materials.


Cotton fiber Amphiprotic modification Adsorption Dyes Metal ions Regeneration 



This work was supported by the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (no. 2012AA030313), Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions of China (no. 11KJB540002) and Suzhou City Key Technology R&D program (no. ZXS2012008).

Supplementary material

10570_2014_318_MOESM1_ESM.tif (300 kb)
The standard curves of CR aqueous solution (TIFF 299 kb)
10570_2014_318_MOESM2_ESM.tif (294 kb)
The standard curves of MB aqueous solution (TIFF 294 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiaqing Xiong
    • 1
  • Chenlu Jiao
    • 1
  • Chenmei Li
    • 1
  • Desuo Zhang
    • 1
  • Hong Lin
    • 1
  • Yuyue Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Textile and Clothing EngineeringSoochow UniversitySuzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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