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Visualization analysis of graphene and its composites for heavy metal wastewater applications

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In order to explore the research trends and hotspots related to the treatment of heavy metals in wastewater by graphene and its composites, this study collected information on 511 publications from the Science Citation Index-Expanded (SCIE) and conducted a quantitative and visual analysis. The article on the adsorption of heavy metals in wastewater by graphene and its composites first appeared in 2006 and continued to grow since 2011. It broke through 100 articles for the first time in 2016 and the overall trend is on the rise. The 511 articles were published in 185 journals, of which RSC Advances is the most dynamic journal, and Journal of Materials Chemistry A is the most authoritative journal. Asian authors published about 87.14% of papers, and China, Iran, and India played a leading role compared with other countries. The University of Chinese Academy of Sciences is the largest research institution for the adsorption of heavy metals in wastewater by graphene and its composites. Hot keywords are “heavy metal removal,” “water sample,” “recent advance,” “reusable adsorbent,” “graphene-based material,” and “composite nanosheet.” Combined with keywords and cluster analysis, the chemical modification of graphene oxide has become a hot research direction for graphene materials to remove heavy metals from wastewater. Among them, MnFe2O4-graphene composite is a hot spot for graphene modification. In general, HNO3, HCl, and EDTA are desorption reagents for graphene and its composites.

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This work was financially supported by the National Key Project of Research and Development Plan (No. 2016YFC1402504) and the Foundation of Hubei Key Laboratory of Mine Environmental Pollution Control and Remediation, Hubei Polytechnic University (No. 2017101).

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Correspondence to Bolin Li.

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Li, B., Chen, Z., Li, Y. et al. Visualization analysis of graphene and its composites for heavy metal wastewater applications. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 27752–27760 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-05983-5

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  • Graphene
  • Bibliometrics
  • CiteSpace
  • Graphene oxide (GO)
  • Heavy metal
  • Adsorption