Synthesis and characterization of a novel biodegradable cellulose acetate-chitosan biosorbent for water purification and treatment purposes


A novel biosorbent for water desalination and water treatment derived from biodegradable cellulose acetate (CA) and chitosan (CS) was successfully synthesized at optimized synthesis parameters of 1: 1 CA: CS ratio, pH 4, 3 h reaction time, and 120 ± 5 °C. The biosorbent was characterized by Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) spectroscopy, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis TGA, and X-ray diffraction. Sorption of the monovalent and divalent salts (NaCl and MgSO4) was performed in a batch-type system under different operating conditions of time, initial concentration and adsorbent dose. The efficiency of the biosorbent to reject metal ions (Mg(II), Na) and non-metal ions (sulfate and chloride) from solution was investigated, where the amount of adsorbate was quantified using ICP-AES spectrometry and conductivity measurements. The synthesized biosorbent succeeded in removing SO42- and Cl- from aqueous solutions with a maximum uptake capacity of 70 and 23 mg/g as well as % removal of 37 % and 11 % for SO42- and Cl-, respectively (contact time 150 min, pH 5.5, and temperature 23 ± 2 °C) at initial concentration 700 mg L-1and dose 5 g/L for sulfate and 1000 mg L-1 for chloride. The % yield and % swelling of 70 and 112 % respectively obtained at the optimized synthesis conditions. Equilibrium studies revealed that the sorption process followed Freundlich isotherm behavior while sorption kinetics followed a pseudo-second order kinetic model with the highest adsorption rate constant k2 of 0.10 (g mg-1 min-1)2at 100 mgL-1 and the correlation coefficient R2 more than 0.995 implying a chemisorption mechanism. Furthermore, the biosorbent showed promising results in the removal of heavy metal ions of Ni (II), Cr (VI), Pb (II), and Co (II) with efficiencies of 85, 58, 36, and 29 %, respectively.


Chemistry Department

Degree Name

MS in Chemistry

Graduation Date


Submission Date

September 2018

First Advisor

Madkour Tarek, Elsayed Mayyada

Committee Member 1

Abdel Fattah, Mohamed Saleh

Committee Member 2

El-Gendy, Ahmed


116 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


First of all, I would like to express my special gratitude to my supervisors, Prof. Dr. Tarek Madkour and Dr. Mayyada El Sayed, for their continuous encouragement, motivation, support, immense knowledge, guidance and patience as this project would not have been done without their unconditional help. Besides, I would like to acknowledge the American University in Cairo for the financial support through the graduate study and international conferences research grant. I wish to express my thankful feeling toward all professors in Chemistry Department, especially Dr. Nahed Yacoub, for her help and continuous support. Actually, I would like to express my sincere thanks to my colleagues in the Chemistry Department. I’m very grateful for my colleague Eng. Shadi Azer, Petroleum Department, AUC, for his great efforts and support. Last but not the least, I cannot find words to express my feeling toward my family, my wife, my daughter and my sons. I am extremely grateful to them for being always by my side providing me all the care, love, and support that made me able to accomplish this project, indeed, they carried the responsibility in many critical situations and hard times.

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