Simultaneous adsorption of Cd2+ and phenol on modified N-doped carbon nanotubes: Experimental and DFT studies

Paola E. Diaz-Flores, Florentino López-Urías, Mauricio Terrones, J. Rene Rangel-Mendez

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65 Scopus citations


Carbon nanotubes are novel materials that have been investigated for diverse applications, but only a few studies have been focused on environmental issues. In this work, we report on the efficient adsorption of phenol and cadmium ions on N-doped carbon nanotubes (CNx), which have been modified in air at different temperatures. The pristine and modified CNx nanotubes were characterized by SEM, TGA, elemental analysis and their surface areas were also determined. The adsorption experiments of toxic pollutants were carried out in batch reactors at 25 °C. The characterization of modified CNx by these techniques showed an increase in oxygen content and surface area in comparison with the pristine CNx tubes. The individual adsorption capacity was 0.10 and 0.07 mmol/g for phenol and Cd2+, respectively. The experimental data of the competitive adsorption of phenol and Cd2+ revealed that the cadmium removal was favored as the phenol concentration increased, whereas the phenol adsorption capacity was slightly affected at any cadmium concentration. These results suggest that modified CNx tubes have a great potential in environmental applications as adsorbents of organic and inorganic compounds in aqueous phases. In addition, first-principles calculations were carried out in order to elucidate the mechanism of Cd2+ adsorption on CNx.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-131
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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