Synthesis and characterization of modified sulfonated chitosan for beryllium recovery

Int J Biol Macromol. 2019 Oct 15;139:153-160. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.07.162. Epub 2019 Jul 26.


A new adsorbent, sulfated crosslinked chitosan (SGCH), has been synthesized for the effective extraction of beryllium ions from their aqueous solutions. In recent times, beryllium extraction has been of great importance because beryllium can be used in many applications such as in nuclear reactor, heat shields, high-technology ceramics, alloys and electronic heat sinks. SGCH has been synthesized by two successive phases. The first is the conversion of chitosan (CH) into non-soluble cross-linked chitosan (GCH) through the interaction between chitosan and glutaraldehyde. The second step is the formation of functional sulfonate groups onto the adsorbent material through the interaction of GCH with chlorosulfonic acid (sulfating agent). The role played by the sulfonate groups in the adsorption process was analyzed using FT-IR and SEM. Also, the role played by the solution pH, time, beryllium concentration and temperature on the batch adsorption process was investigated. Our results point to the successful preparation of SGCH adsorbent with high affinity for beryllium ions. The maximum sorption values of beryllium ions on the investigated biosorbent is 40.6 mg/g. The desorption of the loaded beryllium ions from the SGCH was achieved by using 1.5 M urea acidified by 0.6 M H2SO4.

Keywords: Beryllium; Biosorption; Chitosan; Remediation.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Beryllium / chemistry*
  • Beryllium / isolation & purification*
  • Chemistry Techniques, Synthetic
  • Chitosan / chemical synthesis*
  • Chitosan / chemistry*
  • Sulfonic Acids / chemistry*
  • Time Factors


  • Sulfonic Acids
  • Chitosan
  • Beryllium