Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 21, pp 21164–21175 | Cite as

Facile preparation of nitrogen and sulfur co-doped graphene-based aerogel for simultaneous removal of Cd2+ and organic dyes

  • Qiaoping Kong
  • Chaohai Wei
  • Sergei Preis
  • Yun Hu
  • Feng Wang
Research Article


The need in simultaneous removal of heavy metals and organic compounds dictates the development of synthetic adsorbents with tailor-made properties. A nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) co-doped graphene-based aerogel (GBA) modified with 2,5-dithiobisurea was synthesized hydrothermally for simultaneous adsorption of Cd2+ and organic dyes—safranin-O (SO), crystal violet (CV), and methylene blue (MB). 2,5-Dithiobisurea was used as nitrogen and sulfur sources to introduce N and S-containing functional group onto graphene oxide. The adsorption mechanism of GBA towards Cd2+ and organic dyes was studied by Dumwald-Wagner models and the results showed that surface and intraparticle diffusion was the key factor in controlling the rate of adsorption. The maximum adsorption capacities of GBA towards Cd2+, SO, CV, and MB comprised 1.755, 0.949, 0.538, and 0.389 mmol/g in monocomponent system, respectively. Adsorption synergism was observed with respect to Cd2+ in presence of the dyes. The performance of GBA with respect to Cd2+ removal from binary solutions, Cd2+-SO, Cd2+-CV, and Cd2+-MB, was enhanced by the presence of the dyes significantly, while the adsorption capacities towards the dyes were not affected by the presence of Cd2+.


2,5-Dithiobisurea Graphene-based aerogel Cd2+ Organic dyes Simultaneous adsorption 


Funding information

This study was financially supported by the Research and Development Foundation of Applied Science and Technology of Guangdong Province, China (No. 2015B020235005), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51278199), and Joint Key Funds of the National Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province, China (No. U1201234).

Supplementary material

11356_2018_2195_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.3 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 1.26 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environment and EnergySouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.The Key Lab of Pollution Control and Ecosystem Restoration in Industry Clusters, Ministry of EducationSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Materials and Environmental TechnologyTallinn University of TechnologyTallinnEstonia

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