Cleaning Water with Hemp Stalks

Diamidoximated cellulosic bioadsorbents from hemp stalks for elimination of uranium (VI) and textile waste in aqueous systems

Selective abolition of hazardous U(VI) ions from nuclear power plants and removal of toxic colorants from textile industries pose great challenge. The work aims to develop cellulosic bioadsorbents from waste stalks of local weed, Cannabis sativa, commonly known as hemp. Cellulose nanofibers (PCFs) were chosen as substrates owing to their unique characteristics like surface hydroxyl groups, large surface to volume ratio and excellent mechanical properties. PCFs were isolated from hemp stalks and their structural characterization using FTIR, TGA and XRD ensured retrieval of pure crystalline cellulose. PCFs were modified via copolymerization to obtain diaminomaleonitrile adorned cellulose grafts (DAMNC) and further converted to get diamidoxime functionalized cellulose (DAOC). DAOC exhibited exceptional affinity with uranium (VI) ions, safranin-o and methylene blue dyes due to presence of two amidoxime groups. Sorption capability was ascertained for optimization of parameters like contact time, pH selectivity, adsorbent dosage and concentration. Sorption followed Pseudo second-order kinetic model with maximum sorption of 220 mg/g, 19.01 mg/g and 46.4 mg/g for U(VI) ions, SO and MB, respectively. EDX mapping revealed uniform adsorption of all the three pollutants on DAOC while XPS ascertained that the sorption originated from multiple interactions between the adsorbent and the pollutants.

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