Adsorption of Lead(II) on O2-Plasma-Oxidized Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes: Thermodynamics, Kinetics, and Desorption

O2-plasma-oxidized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (po-MWCNTs) have been used as an adsorbent for adsorption of lead(II) in water. Scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Raman spectroscopy measurements show that the bulk properties of MWCNTs were not changed after O2-plasma oxidation. The adsorption capacity of MWCNTs for lead(II) was greatly enhanced after plasma oxidation mainly because of the introduction of oxygen-containing functional groups onto the surface of MWCNTs. The removal of lead(II) by po-MWCNTs occurs rather quickly, and the adsorption kinetics can be well described by the pseudo-second-order model. The adsorption isotherm of lead(II) onto MWCNTs fits the Langmuir isotherm model. The adsorption of lead(II) onto MWCNTs is strongly dependent upon the pH values. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis shows that the adsorption mechanism is mainly due to the chemical interaction between lead(II) and the surface functional groups of po-MWCNTs. The thermodynamic parameters (ΔH°, ΔS°, and ΔG°) calculated from the adsorption isotherms suggest that the adsorption of lead(II) onto MWCNTs is endothermic and spontaneous. The regeneration performance shows that lead(II) can be easily regenerated from po-MWCNTs by altering the pH values of the solution.