Removal of mercury(II) from aqueous solution by partially reduced graphene oxide
Talia Tene, Fabian Arias Arias, Marco Guevara, Adriana Nuñez, Luis Villamagua, Carlos Tapia, Michele Pisarra, F. Javier Torres, Lorenzo S. Caputi & Cristian Vacacela Gomez
Mercury (Hg(II)) has been classified as a pollutant and its removal from aqueous sources is considered a priority for public health as well as ecosystem protection policies. Oxidized graphenes have attracted vast interest in water purification and wastewater treatment. In this report, a partially reduced graphene oxide is proposed as a pristine adsorbent material for Hg(II) removal. The proposed material exhibits a high saturation Hg(II) uptake capacity of 110.21 mg g−1, and can effectively reduce the Hg(II) concentration from 150 mg L−1 to concentrations smaller than 40 mg L−1, with an efficiency of about 75% within 20 min. The adsorption of Hg(II) on reduced graphene oxide shows a mixed physisorption–chemisorption process. Density functional theory calculations confirm that Hg atom adsorbs preferentially on clean zones rather than locations containing oxygen functional groups. The present work, therefore, presents new findings for Hg(II) adsorbent materials based on partially reduced graphene oxide, providing a new perspective for removing Hg(II).