High performance of 3D porous graphene/lignin/sodium alginate
composite for adsorption of Cd(II) and Pb(II)
Received: 14 January 2018 / Accepted: 13 March 2018 /Published online: 25 March 2018
Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018
A novel adsorbent, three-dimensional porous graphene/lignin/sodium alginate nanocomposite (denoted as 3D PG/L/SA) was
fabricated by hydrothermal polymerization of lignin and sodium alginate in the presence of graphene oxide (GO) in an aqueous
system. Fourier transform infrared spectra, thermo-gravimetric analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron
spectroscopy were employed to characterize the morphology and structure of this novel functional PG/L/SA nanocomposite. A
series of adsorption experiments for cleanup of Cd(II) and Pb(II) were conducted to investigate the effects of lignin and sodium
alginate on the graphene structure. It was found that PG/L/SA showed a significant increase in adsorption capacity contrast to
porous graphene (PG). The as-prepared material achieved the adsorption capacity for Cd(II) and Pb(II) of 79.88 and 226.24 mg/g,
respectively. Meanwhile, the adsorption process matched well with the Langmuir isotherm model and the pseudo-second-order
kinetic model. Studies were also conducted to demonstrate the applicability of the sorbent to the removal of heavy metal ions
from metal smelting wastewater.
Keywords Three-dimensional porous graphene
Whether the contaminants of geochemical systems are in-
organic metal ions (Algothmi et al. 2013;Tripathietal.
2013) or organic dyes (Fan et al. 2013), they are quite harm-
ful to human and other lives due to their accumulation in
living organisms. The most common toxic heavy metal
ions, including mercury, lead, nickel, and copper, are differ-
ent from other pollutants due to their non-degradable prop-
erty (N. Sui et al. 2015). The heavy metal pollution, such as
the improper disposal of discharged wastewater containing
various poisonous metal ions, is one of the most serious
environment issues in the modern life (Gao et al. 2017b).
The metallurgy industry has greatly affected the develop-
ment of the whole industry, but meanwhile, it is considered
as a typical high contamination and high emission industry
(Lin and Du 2017;Nieetal.2014). More specifically, the
impacts and course of heavy metal pollution from metallur-
gy industrial have been investigated (Grattan et al. 2013).
The main manifestations of heavy metal contamination
from metallurgy industry are water pollution, soil pollution,
and atmospheric metal pollution (Nocete et al. 2005).
Furthermore, the by-products, such as waste lead mud,
zinc-contained cadmium dregs, barium dregs, and waste
water, are potential unintentional pollution source and
harmful to the ecological environment (Cortizas et al.
2016; Paldyna et al. 2013). Hence, several techniques have
been studied for this urgency need, including flotation, ion
exchange, electrochemical, and adsorption (Li et al. 2013).
Particularly, adsorption is recognized a promising method
for removing heavy metal ions due to high removal efficien-
cy, economic, and eco-friendly (Wang and Chen 2015). It is
worthwhile to explore novel and biodegradable materials
that can effectively remove hazardous metal ions (Wang
et al. 2011;Zengetal.2009).
Three-dimensional porous graphene (3D PG) or its deriv-
atives have been practically applied in energy storage (He
et al. 2016; Lv and Liang 2016), super-capacitors (Li et al.
2011;Maetal.2016), and absorbents (Sui et al. 2013;Wu
et al. 2013), which exhibit large surface area, continuously
Responsible editor: Guilherme L. Dotto
* Xinyu Jiang
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Central South
University, Changsha 410083, China
Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2018) 25:15651–15661