Preparation of magnetic microgels for catalytic reduction of 4-nitrophenol and removal of methylene blue from aqueous medium

  • F. Bibi
  • M. Ajmal
  • F. Naseer
  • Z. H. Farooqi
  • M. Siddiq
Original Paper


This work describes the synthesis of poly(acrylic acid) microgels and fabrication of magnetic cobalt nanoparticles in the prepared microgels. Cobalt nanoparticles were fabricated by loading the cobalt (II) ions in microgels from aqueous solution and their subsequent reduction with sodium borohydride (NaBH4). Bare and composite microgels were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The catalytic properties of the prepared microgel composites were investigated by using them as catalyst for the reduction of 4-nitrophenol and methylene blue. The effect of temperature and catalyst dose on the rate of reduction of these toxic pollutants was investigated. The reusability of prepared catalysts was also studied for the five consecutive cycles, and an increase in catalytic activity was observed after every cycle. The prepared bare and magnetic microgels were found as very effective adsorbent for the removal of methylene blue from aqueous medium. Very rapid adsorption rate was found for the removal of methylene as its 100 mg was adsorbed on per gram of dried hydrogels in about 25 min. The effects of different parameters like amount of adsorbate and concentration of adsorbent on the adsorption process were studied. Langmuir, Freundlich and Temkin adsorption isotherms were applied, and it was found that adsorption of MB follows Freundlich model better than others. Furthermore, pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order kinetic models were also applied and adsorption of MB was found to abide by pseudo-second-order kinetics.


Microgels Nanoparticles Catalysis Adsorption Pollutants 



The authors highly acknowledge financial support from Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan, under University Research Fund 2015.

Supplementary material

13762_2017_1446_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1133 kb)


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Bibi
    • 1
  • M. Ajmal
    • 2
  • F. Naseer
    • 1
  • Z. H. Farooqi
    • 3
  • M. Siddiq
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryQuaid-i-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Institute of Chemical SciencesBahauddin Zakariya UniversityMultanPakistan
  3. 3.Institute of ChemistryUniversity of the PunjabLahorePakistan

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