Functionalisation of electrospun nanofibre for lanthanide ion adsorption from aqueous solution
Pereao, Omoniyi Kolawole
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Rare earth elements (REEs) have widespread use and importance for industrial applications due to their metallurgical, optical and electronic properties. Several typical hydrometallurgical techniques such as adsorption, chemical precipitation, filtration, ion exchange and solvent extraction techniques have been used for separation and recovery of the rare earth metals from aqueous solutions. Adsorption was recognised as one of the most promising methods due to its simplicity, high efficiency and availability. Many adsorbents are being investigated but there are few adsorbents containing specific functional groups in practical use for REEs recovery. This aim of this study was to develop a nanofibre based adsorbent containing glycolic acid functional groups for the recovery of rare earth metals. Polystyrene (PS) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) nanofibres were prepared by the electrospinning technique, glycolic acid functional groups were grafted onto the PS or PET nanofibres and the potential of the two modified nanofibre adsorbents for adsorption of Ce3+ or Nd3+ from aqueous solution were investigated and compared. The adsorption experiments were carried out to investigate the effect of different adsorption parameters such as pH, contact time and initial concentration in a batch system in order to achieve the objectives of this research.