Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 298, Issue 2, pp 835–845 | Cite as

Application of modified multiwall carbon nanotubes as a sorbent for zirconium (IV) adsorption from aqueous solution

  • R. YavariEmail author
  • R. Davarkhah


Modified multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) by nitric acid solution were used to investigate the adsorption behavior of zirconium from aqueous solution. Pristine and oxidized MWCNTs were characterized using nitrogen adsorption/desorption isotherm, Boehm’s titration method, thermogravimetry analysis, transmission electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The results showed that the surface properties of MWCNTs such as specific surface area, total pore volume, functional groups and the total number of acidic and basic sites were improved after oxidation. These improvements are responsible for their hydrophobic properties and consequently an easy dispersion in water and suitable active sites for more adsorption of zirconium. The adsorption of Zr(IV) as a function of initial concentration of zirconium, contact time, MWCNTs dosage, HCl and HNO3 concentration and also ionic strength was investigated using a batch technique under ambient conditions. The experimental results indicated that sorption of Zr(IV) was strongly influenced by zirconium concentrations, oxidized MWCNTs content and acid pH values. The calculated correlation coefficient of the linear regressions values showed that Langmuir model fits the adsorption equilibrium data better than the Freundlich model. Kinetic data of sorption indicated that equilibrium was achieved within 60 min and the adsorption process can be described by the pseudo second-order reaction rate model. Based on the experimental results, surface complexation is the major mechanism for adsorption of Zr(IV) onto MWCNTs. Also, Study on the desorption process of zirconium showed that the complete recovery can be obtained using nitric or hydrochloric acids of 4 M.


Multiwall carbon nanotubes Zirconium (IV) Adsorption Desorption Functional groups 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute, NFCSTehranIran

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