Studies on a Fabricated Novel Carbon Nanotube-Infused Polysulfone Nanocompositesites
Water pollutants such as heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons have adverse effects on humans and environment. Prolonged exposure to low concentrations of these pollutants over time may lead to disposition of ailments which are health hazards. Conventional water treatment methods such as flocculation, sedimentation, and filtration do not remove dissolved trace levels of such pollutants. This work aimed at investigating the potential of fabricated model of magneto-responsive Carbon nanotube (CNT)-polysulfone (PSF) infused polymeric nanocomposites in water purification against oil spills and heavy metals pollution. The CNTs were prepared by thermal catalysed vapour deposition (TCVD) while magnetite nanoparticles were prepared by solvothermal and stober processes. The CNTs were decorated with PSF polymer before infusion of the core shell Fe3O4-SiO2. The fabricated nanocomposites were applied in removal of trace pollutants through adsorption process. Regeneration tests were performed on both the nanocomposites as well as to the existing carbon-based adsorbents to ascertain workability of the product. The nanocomposite was characterized for structure and morphology using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier Transform infra-red (FT-IR), Energy Dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) while its magneto-responsiveness was tested by Superconducting quantm interference Device (SQUID). The presence of absorption band in IR spectrum at 460 cm-1 and 521 cm-1 was for the vibrations of Fe-O bond in Fe3O4 nanoparticles formed. The core shell nanoparticles obtained displayed a thin hysteresis loop having saturation magnetization 2.2 emu g-1 with ferromagnetic property. Adsorption of Pb(II) ions followed pseudo second-order while Freundlich adsorption isotherm gave the best-fit for the two pollutants.