A novel eco-friendly approach was used to synthesize a hydroxyapatite-carbon nanocomposite (HAP-C) by utilizing the industrial waste of cement kiln dust (CKD) as a source of calcium for the synthesis. Citric acid was first used to chelate the calcium from CKD, then the chelate was converted into a mixture of calcium carbonate and carbon by calcination at 450°C for 1 h. The mixture was used as a precursor for the synthesis of HAP-C by reacting it with ortho-phosphoric acid via a precipitation method. HAP-C was then calcined at different temperatures of 400, 500, and 700°C under inert atmosphere, with a heating rate of 10°C/min for 2 h. The adsorption efficiency of the calcined composites towards rhodamine b (RB) dye and levofloxacin (LV) drug was compared to the uncalcined one, and the best performance was observed for the composite calcined at 700°C (HAP-C 700 A). BET, zeta potential, and TEM measurements indicated that this composite is mesoporous, with a negatively-charged surface at the working pH and an average particle size for the diameter and length are 10± 3.6 nm and 8± 2.9 nm for HAP-C 700A. Equilibrium studies revealed that the adsorption process is best described by Langmuir isotherm model with estimated maximum adsorption capacities of 9.65 and 14.84 mg/g for RB and LV, respectively. The maximum removal efficiency observed was 96 % for RB at 10, 15 and 25 ppm and 86 % for LV at 10 and 15 ppm. Kinetic studies revealed that adsorption of RB and LV followed the pseudo second order model. Thermodynamic analysis suggested exothermic and spontaneous physisorption possibly taking place through electrostatic attraction and hydrogen bonding. The approach proposed herein for the removal of emerging contaminants from water supports the concepts of zero waste management and circular economy.


School of Sciences and Engineering


Nanotechnology Program

Degree Name

MS in Nanotechnology

Graduation Date

Fall 1-31-2023

Submission Date


First Advisor

Mayyada El-Sayed

Committee Member 1

Tarek Madkour

Committee Member 2

Sahar Kamal

Committee Member 3

Hatem Tallima


131 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

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