Chitosan Functionalized with Carboxyl Groups as a Recyclable Biomaterial for the Adsorption of Cu (II) and Zn (II) Ions in Aqueous Media

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Feb 21;23(4):2396. doi: 10.3390/ijms23042396.


The modification of chitosan represents a challenging task in obtaining biopolymeric materials with enhanced removal capacity for heavy metals. In the present work, the adsorption characteristics of chitosan modified with carboxyl groups (CTS-CAA) towards copper (II) and zinc (II) ions have been tested. The efficacy of the synthesis of CTS-CAA has been evaluated by studying various properties of the modified chitosan. Specifically, the functionalized chitosan has been characterized by using several techniques, including thermal analyses (differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetry), spectroscopies (FT-IR, XRD), elemental analysis, and scanning electron microscopy. The kinetics and the adsorption isotherms of CTS-CAA towards both Cu (II) and Zn (II) have been determined in the aqueous solvent under variable pH. The obtained results have been analyzed by using different adsorption models. In addition, the experiments have been conducted at variable temperatures to explore the thermodynamics of the adsorption process. The regeneration of CTS-CAA has been investigated by studying the desorption process using different eluents. This paper reports an efficient protocol to synthesize chitosan-based material perspective as regenerative adsorbents for heavy metals.

Keywords: adsorption; biomaterials; thermodynamic studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Chitosan / chemistry*
  • Copper / chemistry*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Ions / chemistry*
  • Kinetics
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared / methods
  • Thermodynamics
  • Water / chemistry*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / chemistry
  • Water Purification / methods
  • Zinc / chemistry*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Ions
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Water
  • Copper
  • Chitosan
  • Zinc