Amine groups play significant roles in polymeric composites for heavy metals removal. However, generating a composite with a large number of functional and stable amine groups based on clay is still a challenge. In this work, a new amine-functionalized adsorbent based on acid-activated vermiculite (a-Verm) was prepared by organic modification of silane coupling agent as bridge, followed by in situ polymerization of acrylamide (AM) and further grafting of triethylene tetramine (TETA). The obtained polymeric composite g-PAM/OVerm was characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM), energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), thermal analysis (TG/DTG), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analyses, confirming that amine groups were successfully grafted onto the surface of Verm. The efficacy g-PAM/OVerm for removing Pb(II) was tested. The adsorption equilibrium data on g-PAM/OVerm was in good accordance with the Langmuir adsorption isotherms, and the adsorption maximal value of Pb(II) was 219.4 mg·g−1
. The adsorption kinetic data fit the pseudo-second-order kinetic model well. Additionally, g-PAM/OVerm has better selectivity for Pb(II) ion in comparison with Zn(II), Cd(II) and Cu(II) ions. The present work shows that g-PAM/OVerm holds great potential for removing Pb(II) from wastewater, and provides a new and efficient method for the removal of heavy metal ions from industrial wastewater.
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