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Ana Reynosa1 Eddie López1

1, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Ramos Arizpe, , Mexico

Contamination of the water supply by arsenic is a serious threat to more than 100 million people around the world. In addition to the very important negative health impact, arsenic contamination poses an important challenge for the sustainability of the communities in the areas contaminated, since in many cases the contaminated water supply is a critical drinking water resource. Furthermore, arsenic poisoning has a great social cost due to their negative effects in children and adults alike particularly in impoverished communities. Due to the toxicity of arsenic, various technologies have been developed for its removal, among which, adsorption stands out due to its simplicity of operation and high efficiency. However, a problem faced by adsorbent materials during the adsorption process is the presence of natural salts in the water, such as sulfates, phosphates and carbonates, which can considerably reduce the adsorption capacity of nanomaterials. In this work we have functionalized graphene oxide (GO) with molecules whose structure containing sulfur increase its selectivity towards the adsorption of arsenic regardless of the presence of secondary salts. Graphene oxide was functionalized using sulfuric acid, cysteamine and sulfanilic acid. Samples were characterized with FTIR, XPS, Raman spectroscopy, SEM and TEM. Adsorption tests were performed for As (III) and the effect of the three salts was evaluated. We have observed that GO by its own has an adsorption capacity of 35 mg/g, however in the presence of carbonates it agglomerates inhibiting any arsenic adsorption. When using the functionalized material GO showed to be able to maintain to some level its adsorption capacity.

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