Adsorption of cadmium by a high-capacity adsorbent composed of silicate-titanate nanotubes embedded in hydrogel chitosan beads

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this study, we developed a nanoparticle-based mesoporous composite that consisted of silicate-titanate nanotubes (STNTs) supported in hydrogel chitosan beads (STNTs-Ch beads) and was studied for Cd2+ adsorption. By using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, transmission and scanning electron microscopy coupled to an energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer, we could
determine that the hollow STNTs were highly dispersed in the walls of the hollow beads. The dispersion was attributed to the effect of pH when the composite was prepared and we observed a non-interaction between STNTs and chitosan. The adsorption studies of Cd2+ showed that the kinetic rate (k2) increased 3-fold and that the diffusion rate (Kd) increased 2-fold after
the embedment. Moreover, the maximum capacity of adsorption of STNTs-Ch beads was 2.3 times higher than that of STNTs alone. The treatment of a synthetic Cd2+ solution and a real leachate in continuous mode showed two phases in which it was observed higher removed fractions of transition metal ions (Cd2+, Co2+, Ni2+, Zn2+ and Cu2+) and the post-transition metal ion Pb2+, in comparison to the removed fractions of alkali and alkali-earth metal ions (Ca2+, K+, Mg2+). The composite was successfully reused four times when adsorbing Cd2+, saving three times the needed amounts of TiO2, SiO2 and chitosan for the production of the material. This composite was produced in a simple way and shows the potential for wastewater treatment.


External organisations
  • Higher University of San Andrés
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Water Treatment


  • silicate-titanate nanotubes, chitosan beads, cadmium, adsorption, reuse
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Technology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019 Mar 20
Publication categoryResearch

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