Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 16, pp 15973–15988 | Cite as

Chitosan-iron oxide hybrid composite: mechanism of hexavalent chromium removal by central composite design and theoretical calculations

  • Pricila Maria Batista Chagas
  • Aline Aparecida Caetano
  • Marco Aurélio Rossi
  • Mateus Aquino Gonçalves
  • Teodorico de Castro Ramalho
  • Angelita Duarte Corrêa
  • Iara do Rosário GuimarãesEmail author
Research Article


In this study, the synthesis of iron oxide stabilized by chitosan was carried out for the application and optimization in the removal process of aqueous Cr(VI) by central composite design (CCD). The calculation of these effects allowed to know, quantitatively, the variables and the interaction between them that could affect the Cr(VI) removal process. It was also verified that the most favorable conditions for chromium removal were the following: pH 5.0, Cr(VI) concentration of 130 mg L−1, adsorbent mass of 5 mg, and Fe(II) content of 45% (w/w) in the CT-Fe beads. The adsorption kinetics performed under these conditions showed that the chitosan/iron hybrid composite is an adsorbent material with high chromium removal capacity (46.12 mg g−1). It was found that all variables were statistically significant. However, it was observed that the variable that most affected Cr(VI) removal was the pH of the solution, followed by the concentration of chromium ions in solution and the interaction between them. Therefore, the studied experimental conditions are efficient in chromium adsorption, besides the operational simplicity coming from statistical design. Theoretical calculations showed that the most stable chitosan was that with Fe(II) in the structure, that is, in the reaction mechanism, there is no competition of Fe(II) with Cr(III, VI) in the available sites of chitosan. Thus, the theoretical calculations show that the proposed Cr(VI) removal is effective.


Cr(VI) adsorption Central composite design Theoretical calculations Adsorption mechanism Operational simplicity 



The authors would like to thank CAPES, FAPEMIG, CNPq, the Postgraduate Program in Agrochemistry/UFLA, and Rede Mineira de Química.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_4545_MOESM1_ESM.docx (119 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 118 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pricila Maria Batista Chagas
    • 1
  • Aline Aparecida Caetano
    • 1
  • Marco Aurélio Rossi
    • 1
  • Mateus Aquino Gonçalves
    • 2
  • Teodorico de Castro Ramalho
    • 2
  • Angelita Duarte Corrêa
    • 3
  • Iara do Rosário Guimarães
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratório de Catálise Ambiental e Novos Materiais, Departamento de QuímicaUniversidade Federal de LavrasLavrasBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Análise Computacional, Departamento de QuímicaUniversidade Federal de LavrasLavrasBrazil
  3. 3.Laboratório de Bioquímica, Departamento de QuímicaUniversidade Federal de LavrasLavrasBrazil

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