Research Paper

Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 449-456

First online:

Fe–Ni Nanoparticles supported on carbon nanotube-co-cyclodextrin polyurethanes for the removal of trichloroethylene in water

  • Rui W. M. KrauseAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical Technology, University of Johannesburg Email author 
  • , Bhekie B. MambaAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical Technology, University of Johannesburg
  • , Langelihle N. DlaminiAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical Technology, University of Johannesburg
  • , Shane H. DurbachAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical Technology, University of Johannesburg

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Nanoscale bimetallic particles of nickel on iron were supported on carbon nanotubes and then co-polymerized with β-cyclodextrin (CNTs/CD) and the resulting polymers applied to the degradation of pollutants in water. The bimetallic nanoparticles (BMNPs) were first embedded on functionalized carbon nanotubes (f-CNTs) before being copolymerized with beta cyclodextrin (β-CD) and hexamethylene diisocyanate (HMDI) forming a water-insoluble polyurethane. The particle size and distribution of BMNPs were determined by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and the surface area was determined by using the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) method. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXS) was used to confirm the formation of the BMNPs. Degradation of trichloroethylene (TCE) as a model pollutant was studied and more than 98% reduction in TCE was achieved by the polymers. Polymers with the BMNPs maintained their efficiency in degrading TCE after several cycles compared to metal-free polymers. The degradation was monitored by using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), while the production of chlorides was verified by using ion chromatography (IC). Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) was employed to determine the possible leaching of the BMNPs from the polymer, and confirmed to be extremely low.


Bimetallic nanoparticles Carbon nanotubes Cyclodextrin Trichloroethylene Water resources Environment