Guangxi Key Laboratory of Chemistry and Engineering of Forest Products, Guangxi Colleges and Universities Key Laboratory of Food Safety and Pharmaceutical Analytical Chemistry, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Guangxi University for Nationalities, Nanning 530008, China. [Email]
Rosin derived from conifer trees is used as the basis for a novel environmentally-friendly adsorbent prepared from a sustainable resource. After treatment with ethylenediamine, ethylenediamine rosin-based resin (EDAR) is produced, which possesses cation exchange capacity that is comparable to that of the best commercial synthetic resins. This is demonstrated by its application to the removal of Pb, Cd, and Cu from water, in single and multicomponent systems. Maximum uptake was obtained at pH 5 and in the order Pb(II) > Cd(II) > Cu(II). The maximum adsorption of Pb was ~1.8 mmol/g, but the adsorption process resembled the Freundlich isotherm, whereas the adsorption of Cd(II) and Cu(II) followed the Langmuir isotherm. In the multicomponent systems, there was direct competition between Pb and Cd for sorption sites, whereas the results with Cu indicated it had a preference for different types of sites compared to Pb and Cd. The EDAR resin could be efficiently regenerated and used repeatedly with only a small decrease in performance. Characterization of EDAR, and investigations of its adsorption mechanisms using physical, spectroscopic, and theoretical techniques, including fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (13C NMR), scanning electron microscope (SEM), Brunauer Emmett Teller (BET) method, elemental analysis, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and molecular dynamics calculations, showed that amino groups have a critical role in determining the cation adsorption properties. We conclude that this new adsorbent derived from an abundant natural material has the potential to make valuable contributions to the routine removal of heavy metal ions (HMs) from drinking water and wastewater.