Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 3557–3564 | Cite as

Removal of lead from aqueous solution using polyacrylonitrile/magnetite nanofibers

  • Hammad Malik
  • Umair Ahmed Qureshi
  • Muhammad Muqeet
  • Rasool Bux MaharEmail author
  • Farooq Ahmed
  • Zeeshan Khatri
Research Article


Lead is known for its toxic and non-biodegradable behavior. The consumption of lead-contaminated water is one of the major threat the world is facing nowadays. In this study, polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and magnetite (Fe3O4) composite nanofiber adsorbent was developed for Pb2+ removal in batch mode. The synthesis was done by a simple and scalable process of electrospinning followed by chemical precipitation of Fe3O4. The nanofibers thus obtained were characterized through FTIR, zeta potential analyzer, and scanning electron microscope (SEM) and were analyzed for their adsorption capability for Pb2+ ions. The amount of metal ion adsorbed was influenced by the initial metal ion concentration, the time the adsorbent was in contact, the amount of nanofiber, and the pH of the solution. The experimental data fitted well with pseudo 2nd-order and Langmuir adsorption isotherm model. The nanofibers showed high adsorption capability and could be recommended for Pb2+ removal successfully.


Pollution Lead Magnetite Adsorption Electrospinning Nanofibers 


Funding information

The work was supported by Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro Pakistan and University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA.

Supplementary material

11356_2017_706_MOESM1_ESM.docx (155 kb)
Fig. S1 (DOCX 154 kb)


  1. Abdullah N, Gohari RJ, Yusuf N, Ismail AF, Juhana J, Lau WJ, Matsuura T (2016) Polysulfone/hydrous ferric oxide ultrafiltration mixed matrix membrane: Preparation, characterization and its adsorptive removal of lead (II) from aqueous solution. Chem. Eng.J 289:28–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Atia AA, Donia AM, Elwakeel KZ (2005) Adsorption behavior of non transition metal ions on a synthetic chelating resin bearing iminoacetate functions. Sep Purif Technol 43(1):43–48. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Badawi MA, Negm NA, Abou Kana MTH, Hefni HH, Abdel Moneem MM (2017) Adsorption of aluminium and lead from wastewater by chitosan-tannic acid modified biopolymers: isotherm, kinetics thermodynamics and process mechanism. Int J Biol Macromol 99:465–476. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chang J, Wang J, Qu J, Li YV, Ma L, Wang L, Wang X, Pan K (2016) Preparation of alpha-Fe2O3/Polyacrylonitrile nanofiber mat as effective lead adsorbent. Environ. Sci: Nano 3:894–901Google Scholar
  5. Cho D, Lee S, Frey MW (2012) Characterizing zeta potential of functional nanofibers in a microfluidic device. Colloid Interface Sci 373:252–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Elwakeel KZ, El-Bindary AA, Kouta EY, Guibal E. (2017) Functionalization of polyacrylonitrile/Na-Y-zeoilte composite with amidoxime groups for the sorption of Cu(II), Cd(II) and Pb II) metal ions. doi:
  7. Giraldo L, Erto A, Moreno-Pirajan JC (2013) Magnetite nanoparticles for removal of heavy metals from aqueous solution: synthesis and characterization. Adsorption 19(2-4):465–474. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hashim MA, Mukhopadhyay S, Sahu JN, Sengupta B (2011) Remediation technologies for heavy metal contaminated groundwater. J Environ Mnagement 92(10):2355–2388. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kampalanonwat P, Supaphol P (2010) Preperation and adsorption behaviour of aminated electrospun polyacrylonitrile nanofiber mats for heavy metal ion removal. Appl Mater Interfaces 2(12):3619–3627. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Khan MQ, Lee H, Khatri Z, Kharaghani D, Khatri M, Ishikawa T, Im SS, Kim IS (2017) Fabrication and characterization of nanofibers of honey/poly (1,4-cyclohexane dimethylene isosorbide terephthalate) by electrospinning. Materials Sci Engineering-C 81:247–251. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Khatri Z, Ahmed F, Khatri A, Khatri M, Qureshi UA, Kim IS (2017) Screen printed electrospun cellulose nanofibers using reactive dyes. Cellulose 24(10):4561–4568Google Scholar
  12. Liu H, Dai P, Zhang J, Zhang C, Bao N, Cheng C, Ren L (2013) Preparation and evaluation of activated carbons from lotus stalk with trimethyl phosphate and tributyl phosphate activation for lead removal. Chem Eng J 228:425–434. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Liu J, Mwamulima T, Wang Y, Fang Y, Song S, Peng C (2017) Removaal of Pb (II) and Cr (VI) from aqueous solutions using fly ash based adsorbent material-supported zero valent iron. J Mol Liq 243:205–211. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Liu Q, Zhong LB, Zhao QB, Frear C, Zheng YM (2015) Synthesis of Fe304/polyacrylonitrile composite electrospun nanofiber mat for effective adsorption of tetracycline. ACS Appl. Mater.Interfaces 27:14573–14583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Morillo et al (2016) Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle-loaded polyacrylonitrile nanofiber with enhanced aresnate removal performance. Environ. Sci:Nano 3:1165–1173Google Scholar
  16. Mohan S, Kumar V, Singh DK, Hasan SH (2017) Effective removal of lead ions using graphene oxide-MgO nanohybrid from aqueous solution: isotherm, kinetic and thermodynamic modeling of adsorption. J Environ Chemical Engineering 5(3):2259–2273. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Natraj et al. (2010) In-situ deposition of iron oxide nanoparticles on polyacrylonitrile-based nanofiber by chemico-thermal reduction method. Nanosci Nanotechnol 10(5):3530–3533. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pan W, He X, Chen Y (2010) Preparation and characterization of polyacrylonitrile/antimony doped tin oxide composite nanofibers by electrospinning method. Optoelectronincs Advanced Materials-Rapid Communications 4:390–394Google Scholar
  19. Patel S, Hota G (2016) Iron oxide nanoparticles-immobilized PAN nanofibers: synthesis and adsorption studies. RSC Adv 6(19):15402–15414. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Qureshi UA, Khatri Z, Ahmed F, Khatri M, Kim IS (2017) Electrospun zein nanofiber as green and recyclable adsorbent for the removal of reactive black 5 from aqueous phase. ACS Sustainable Chemistry Engineering 5:4340–4351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Razzaz A, Ghorban S, Hosayni L, Irani M, Aliabadi M (2016) Chitosan nanofiber functionalized by TiO2 nanoparticles for the removal of heavy metal ions. J Taiwan Instititute Chemical Engineers 58:333–343. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Shalaby TI, El-Kady MF, Zaki AHM, El-Kholy SM (2017) Preparation and application of magnetite nanoparticles immobilized cellulose acetate nanofibers for lead removal from polluted water. Water Sci Technol Water Supply 17(1):176–187Google Scholar
  23. Singh K, Gautam M (2017) Development of inexpensive biosorbents from de-oiled mustard cake for effective removal of As (V) and Pb (II) ions from their aqueous solutions. J Environ Chemical Engineering 5(5):4728–4741. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sone H, Fugetsu B, Tanaka S (2009) Selective elimination of lead (II) ions by alginate/polyurethane composite foams. J Hazard Mater 162(1):423–429. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tchounwou PB, Yedjou CG, Patlolla AK, Sutton DJ (2012). Heavy metals toxicity and the environment. NIH Public AccessGoogle Scholar
  26. Taraba B, Bulavová P (2017) Adsorption enthalpy of lead(II) and phenol on coals and activated carbon in the view of thermodynamic analysis and calorimetric measurements. J Chem Thermodyn 116:97–106. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wang S, Wang C, Zhang B, Sun Z, Li Z, Jiang X, Bai X (2010) Preparation of Fe3O4/PVA nanofiber via combining in-situ composite with electrospinning. Material Letters 64(1):9–11. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Yao-Jen T, Cheng-Feng Y, Mei-Hsuan C, Yan-Ping D (2017) Efficient removal/recovery of Pb onto environmentally friendly fabricated copper ferrite nanoparticles. J Taiwan Inst Chem Eng 71:197–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Zhang J, Dang L, Zhang M, Lu Q, Zhao S (2017) Characterization of mesoporous magnesium silicate with hierarchical structure and its adsorption performance for dye and lead ion. Surfaces Interfaces 8:112–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hammad Malik
    • 1
  • Umair Ahmed Qureshi
    • 2
    • 3
  • Muhammad Muqeet
    • 1
  • Rasool Bux Mahar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Farooq Ahmed
    • 2
  • Zeeshan Khatri
    • 2
  1. 1.U.S. Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCASW)Mehran University of Engineering and TechnologyJamshoroPakistan
  2. 2.Nanomaterials Research Lab, Department of Textile EngineeringMehran University of Engineering and TechnologyJamshoroPakistan
  3. 3.Government Boys Degree College QasimabadHyderabadPakistan

Personalised recommendations