Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 3


3 Sustainable Hydrogel Nanocomposites Based on Grafted Chitosan and Clay for Effective Adsorption of Cationic Dye

Authors: H. Ferfera-Harrar, T. Benhalima, D. Lerari


Contamination of water, due to the discharge of untreated industrial wastewaters into the ecosystem, has become a serious problem for many countries. In this study, bioadsorbents based on chitosan-g-poly(acrylamide) and montmorillonite (MMt) clay (CTS-g-PAAm/MMt) hydrogel nanocomposites were prepared via free‐radical grafting copolymerization and crosslinking of acrylamide monomer (AAm) onto natural polysaccharide chitosan (CTS) as backbone, in presence of various contents of MMt clay as nanofiller. Then, they were hydrolyzed to obtain highly functionalized pH‐sensitive nanomaterials with uppermost swelling properties. Their structure characterization was conducted by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analyses. The adsorption performances of the developed nanohybrids were examined for removal of methylene blue (MB) cationic dye from aqueous solutions. The factors affecting the removal of MB, such as clay content, pH medium, adsorbent dose, initial dye concentration and temperature were explored. The adsorption process was found to be highly pH dependent. From adsorption kinetic results, the prepared adsorbents showed remarkable adsorption capacity and fast adsorption rate, mainly more than 88% of MB removal efficiency was reached after 50 min in 200 mg L-1 of dye solution. In addition, the incorporating of various content of clay has enhanced adsorption capacity of CTS-g-PAAm matrix from 1685 to a highest value of 1749 mg g-1 for the optimized nanocomposite containing 2 wt.% of MMt. The experimental kinetic data were well described by the pseudo-second-order model, while the equilibrium data were represented perfectly by Langmuir isotherm model. The maximum Langmuir equilibrium adsorption capacity (qm) was found to increase from 2173 mg g−1 until 2221 mg g−1 by adding 2 wt.% of clay nanofiller. Thermodynamic parameters revealed the spontaneous and endothermic nature of the process. In addition, the reusability study revealed that these bioadsorbents could be well regenerated with desorption efficiency overhead 87% and without any obvious decrease of removal efficiency as compared to starting ones even after four consecutive adsorption/desorption cycles, which exceeded 64%. These results suggest that the optimized nanocomposites are promising as low cost bioadsorbents.

Keywords: Clay, chitosan, dye adsorption, hydrogels nanocomposites

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2 Green Synthesis of Nanosilver-Loaded Hydrogel Nanocomposites for Antibacterial Application

Authors: H. Ferfera-Harrar, D. Berdous


Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) or hydrogels with three-dimensional hydrophilic network structure are high-performance water absorbent and retention materials. The in situ synthesis of metal nanoparticles within polymeric network as antibacterial agents for bio-applications is an approach that takes advantage of the existing free-space into networks, which not only acts as a template for nucleation of nanoparticles, but also provides long term stability and reduces their toxicity by delaying their oxidation and release. In this work, SAP/nanosilver nanocomposites were successfully developed by a unique green process at room temperature, which involves in situ formation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) within hydrogels as a template. The aim of this study is to investigate whether these AgNPs-loaded hydrogels are potential candidates for antimicrobial applications. Firstly, the superabsorbents were prepared through radical copolymerization via grafting and crosslinking of acrylamide (AAm) onto chitosan backbone (Cs) using potassium persulfate as initiator and N,N’-methylenebisacrylamide as the crosslinker. Then, they were hydrolyzed to achieve superabsorbents with ampholytic properties and uppermost swelling capacity. Lastly, the AgNPs were biosynthesized and entrapped into hydrogels through a simple, eco-friendly and cost-effective method using aqueous silver nitrate as a silver precursor and curcuma longa tuber-powder extracts as both reducing and stabilizing agent. The formed superabsorbents nanocomposites (Cs-g-PAAm)/AgNPs were characterized by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), UV-visible Spectroscopy, Attenuated Total reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP), and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). Microscopic surface structure analyzed by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) has showed spherical shapes of AgNPs with size in the range of 3-15 nm. The extent of nanosilver loading was decreased by increasing Cs content into network. The silver-loaded hydrogel was thermally more stable than the unloaded dry hydrogel counterpart. The swelling equilibrium degree (Q) and centrifuge retention capacity (CRC) in deionized water were affected by both contents of Cs and the entrapped AgNPs. The nanosilver-embedded hydrogels exhibited antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. These comprehensive results suggest that the elaborated AgNPs-loaded nanomaterials could be used to produce valuable wound dressing.

Keywords: Nanocomposites, Silver Nanoparticles, antibacterial activity, superabsorbent Hydrogel

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1 Synthesis and Properties of Chitosan-Graft Polyacrylamide/Gelatin Superabsorbent Composites for Wastewater Purification

Authors: H. Ferfera-Harrar, N. Aiouaz, N. Dairi


Superabsorbent polymers received much attention and are used in many fields because of their superior characters to traditional absorbents, e.g., sponge and cotton. So, it is very important but challenging to prepare highly and fast-swelling superabsorbents. A reliable, efficient and low-cost technique for removing heavy metal ions from wastewater is the adsorption using bio-adsorbents obtained from biological materials, such as polysaccharides-based hydrogels superabsorbents. In this study, novel multi-functional superabsorbent composites type semi-interpenetrating polymer networks (Semi-IPNs) were prepared via graft polymerization of acrylamide onto chitosan backbone in presence of gelatin, CTS-g-PAAm/Ge, using potassium persulfate and N,N’-methylene bisacrylamide as initiator and crosslinker, respectively. These hydrogels were also partially hydrolyzed to achieve superabsorbents with ampholytic properties and uppermost swelling capacity. The formation of the grafted network was evidenced by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). The porous structures were observed by Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). From TGA analysis, it was concluded that the incorporation of the Ge in the CTS-g-PAAm network has marginally affected its thermal stability. The effect of gelatin content on the swelling capacities of these superabsorbent composites was examined in various media (distilled water, saline and pH-solutions). The water absorbency was enhanced by adding Ge in the network, where the optimum value was reached at 2 wt. % of Ge. Their hydrolysis has not only greatly optimized their absorption capacity but also improved the swelling kinetic.These materials have also showed reswelling ability. We believe that these super-absorbing materials would be very effective for the adsorption of harmful metal ions from wastewater.

Keywords: Gelatin, chitosan, superabsorbent, water absorbency

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