Response surface methodology for optimization of methylene blue adsorption onto carboxymethyl cellulose-based hydrogel beads: adsorption kinetics, isotherm, thermodynamics and reusability studies†
Environment-friendly composite hydrogel beads based on carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), alginate (Alg) and graphene oxide (GO) were synthesized by an ionotropic gelation technique and studied as an efficient adsorbent for methylene blue (MB). The chemical structure and surface morphology of the prepared hydrogel beads were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential thermal analysis (DTA) and point of zero charge (pHpzc). A hybrid response surface methodology integrated Box–Behnken design (RSM-BBD) was successfully developed to model, simulate, and optimize the biosorption process. The synergistic effects between three critical independent variables including adsorbent dose (0.3–0.7 g), pH of the MB solution (6.5–9.5) and initial MB concentration (15–45 mg L−1) on the MB adsorption capacity (mg g−1) and removal efficiency (%) were statistically studied and optimized. The performance of the RSM-BBD method was found to be very impressive and efficient. Results proved that the adsorption process follows a polynomial quadratic model since high regression parameters were obtained (R2-value = 99.8% and adjusted R2-value = 99.3%). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) further confirms the validity of the suggested model. The optimal conditions for 96.22 ± 2.96% MB removal were predicted to be 0.6 g of CMC-Alg/GO hydrogel beads, MB concentration of 15 mg L−1 and pH of 9.5 within 120 min. The adsorption equilibrium is better described by the Freundlich isotherm, indicating that physisorption is the rate controlling mechanism. The MB adsorption process was thermodynamically spontaneous and endothermic. A reusability study revealed that the prepared adsorbent is readily reusable. The adsorbent still maintains its ability to adsorb MB for up to four cycles. Results reported in this study demonstrated that CMC-Alg/GO hydrogel beads are an effective, promising and recyclable adsorbent for the removal of MB from aqueous solutions.