This study explored the feasibility of utilizing a novel sorbent humic acid (HA) coated Fe3
/attapulgite (MATP) magnetic nanoparticles (HMATP) for the sorption of propranolol from aqueous solutions. MATP and bare Fe3
nanoparticles were also synthesized under similar preparation conditions. The FTIR, Zeta potential, XRD, VSM, TEM, and TGA analyses were conducted to characterize the sorbent materials. The effects of pH, sorbent dosage, ionic strength, HA in the aqueous solution, contact time and initial sorbate concentration on sorption of propranolol were investigated using batch sorption experiments. The results suggested that the sorption capacity of HMATP showed little change from pH 4 to 10. Na+
slightly inhibited the sorption of propranolol on HMATP. While HA in solution enhanced both MATP and HMATP, which indicated that HMATP can resist HA interference in water. Further, the less leaching amounts of Fe and HA suggested a good stability of HMATP. In all conditions, sorption capacity of propranolol on HMATP was obviously higher than that on MATP, which indicated that surface-coated HA played an important role in the propranolol sorption process. Electrostatic interaction, cation exchange, hydrogen bonding, and π–π electron donor acceptor interactions were considered as the sorption mechanisms.
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