Chitosan (CS) and nanocomposite 5%bentonite/chitosan (5%Bt/CS) prepared from the natural biopolymer CS were tested to remove Cu(II) ions using a batch adsorption experiment at various temperatures (25, 35 and 45°C). X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis/differential thermal analysis (TGA/DTA) were used in CS and the nanocomposite characterisation. This confirmed the exfoliation of bentonite (Bt) to form the nanocomposite. The adsorption kinetics of copper on both solids was found to follow a pseudo-second-order law at each studied temperature. The Cu(II) adsorption capacity increased as the temperature increased from 25 to 45°C for nanocomposite adsorbent but slightly increased for CS. The data were confronted to the nonlinear Langmuir, Freundlich and Redlich–Peterson models. It was found that the experimental data fitted very well the Langmuir isotherm over the whole temperature and concentration ranges. The maximum monolayer adsorption capacity for the Cu(II) was 404–422 mg/g for CS and 282–337 mg/g for 5%Bt/CS at 25–45°C. The thermodynamic study showed that the adsorption process was spontaneous and endothermic. The complexation of Cu(II) with NH2 and C = O groups as active sites was found to be the main mechanism in the adsorption processes.
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