In this work, nanochitosan (NC) was prepared through ionic gelation using low molecular weight chitosan and maleic acid (MA). The synthesized NC was characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). During preparation, the particle size of the material depended on parameters such as concentration of chitosan and pH of the aqueous solution. After controlling the mentioned parameters, NC smaller than 100 nm was prepared. The chitosan and prepared NC were employed for the adsorption of Pb(II) from an aqueous solution in the form of a batch system. Among the sorption parameters, pH showed the strongest effect on the sorption process and removal of the maximum number of Pb(II) ions was obtained at pH value of 6. Pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order models were used to track the kinetics of the adsorption process. Langmuir and Freundlich’s isotherms were subjected to the absorption data to evaluate absorption capacity. NC proved to be an excellent adsorbent with a remarkable capacity to eliminate Pb(II) ions from aqueous solutions at multiple concentrations. The NC also showed better performance with a comparatively easier preparation process than in other reported work.
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