Copper ion adsorption by chitosan nanoparticles and alginate microparticles for water purification applications

Kun Yu, Jackie Ho, Elizabeth McCandlish, Brian Buckley, Rajesh Patel, Zhoubo Li, Nina C. Shapley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Chitosan and alginate are natural carbohydrate materials used to remove heavy metal ions from aqueous solutions. In this research, chitosan gel nanoparticles were formed by ionic cross-linking with sodium tripolyphosphate and characterized by zetasizing and TEM. The equilibrium adsorption capability of chitosan nanoparticles and calcium-alginate gel microbeads for Cu2+ from copper sulfate solutions at fixed pH has been explored. Results show that the adsorption behavior of chitosan and alginate in the low concentration region follows the Langmuir isotherm. Approximately linearly increasing adsorption behavior was observed at higher solution concentrations. Chitosan gel nanoparticles exhibit a minor increase in adsorption capacity compared to other forms of chitosan. Alginate has significantly higher capacity than chitosan, which can be attributed to a comparatively higher density of adsorption sites. Combination particles consisting of alginate microbeads coated with chitosan nanoparticles possess an intermediate maximum adsorption capacity, corresponding to the weight ratio of the alginate and chitosan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
StatePublished - May 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


  • Adsorption
  • Alginate
  • Chitosan
  • Copper
  • Nanoparticles

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Copper ion adsorption by chitosan nanoparticles and alginate microparticles for water purification applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this