An integrated experimental and theoretical approach to probe Cr (VI) uptake using decorated halloysite nanotubes for efficient water treatment

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Shah, Syed Nadeem Ahmad
Zulfiqar, Sonia
Ruipérez, Fernando
Rafique, Muhammad
Iqbal, Mudassir
Forrester, Michael J.
Sarwar, Muhammad Ilyas
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Royal Society Of Chemistry
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Chemical and Biological Engineering
Halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) were surface functionalized using four distinct chemical moieties (amidoxime, hydrazone, ethylenediamine (EDA), and diethylenetriamine (DETA)), producing modified HNTs (H1–H4) capable of binding with Cr(VI) ions. Advanced techniques like FTIR, XRD, SEM, and EDX provided evidence of the successful functionalization of these HNTs. Notably, the functionalization occurred on the surface of HNTs, rather than within the interlayer or lumen. These decorated HNTs were effective in capturing Cr(VI) ions at optimized sorption parameters, with adsorption rates ranging between 58–94%, as confirmed by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). The mechanism of adsorption was further scrutinized through the Freundlich and Langmuir isotherms. Langmuir isotherms revealed the nearest fit to the data suggesting the monolayer adsorption of Cr(VI) ions onto the nanotubes, indicating a favorable adsorption process. It was hypothesized that Cr(VI) ions are primarily attracted to the amine groups on the modified nanotubes. Quantum chemical calculations further revealed that HNTs functionalized with hydrazone structures (H2) demonstrated a higher affinity (interaction energy −26.33 kcal mol−1) for the Cr(VI) ions. This can be explained by the formation of stronger hydrogen bonds with the NH moieties of the hydrazone moiety, than those established by the OH of oxime (H1) and longer amine chains (H3 and H4), respectively. Overall, the findings suggest that these decorated HNTs could serve as an effective and cost-efficient solution for treating water pollution.
This article is published as Shah, Syed Nadeem Ahmad, Sonia Zulfiqar, Fernando Ruipérez, Muhammad Rafique, Mudassir Iqbal, Michael J. Forrester, Muhammad Ilyas Sarwar, and Eric W. Cochran. "An integrated experimental and theoretical approach to probe Cr (VI) uptake using decorated halloysite nanotubes for efficient water treatment." RSC advances 14, no. 5 (2024): 2947-2960. doi: © 2024 The Author(s). This Open Access Article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 3.0.