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In situ co-precipitation preparation of a superparamagnetic graphene oxide/Fe3O4 nanocomposite as an adsorbent for wastewater purification: synthesis, characterization, kinetics, and isotherm studies

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A superparamagnetic graphene oxide (GO)/Fe3O4 nanocomposite (MGO) was prepared by a facile in situ co-precipitation strategy, resulting in a prospective material for the application of graphene oxide in wastewater treatment. MGO was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), x-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The prepared adsorbent showed a high adsorption efficiency relevant to the purification of dye-contaminated wastewater and could be readily magnetically separated. The maximum adsorption capacity was ca. 546.45 mg g−1 for the common cationic dye methylene blue (MB) and ca. 628.93 mg g−1 for the anionic dye Congo red (CR). The adsorption processes fit the pseudo-second-order kinetic model well, which revealed that these processes may involve the chemical interaction between adsorbate and adsorbent. The thermodynamic parameters indicated that the adsorption reaction was an endothermic and spontaneous process. Furthermore, the prepared magnetic adsorbent had a wide effective pH range from 5 to 11 and showed good stability after five reuse cycles. The synthetic MGO showed great potential as a promising adsorbent for organic contaminant removal in wastewater treatment.

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The authors thank Prof. Anatoly Zinchenko for a helpful discussion.


This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41772264, 51408074) and the Research Fund of State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment Protection (SKLGP2017Z009).

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Correspondence to Shengyan Pu.

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The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.

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Responsible editor: Guilherme L. Dotto

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Pu, S., Xue, S., Yang, Z. et al. In situ co-precipitation preparation of a superparamagnetic graphene oxide/Fe3O4 nanocomposite as an adsorbent for wastewater purification: synthesis, characterization, kinetics, and isotherm studies. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 17310–17320 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-1872-y

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  • In situ co-precipitation
  • Graphene oxide
  • Magnetic absorbent
  • Dyeing wastewater