Magnetised nanocomposite mesoporous silica and its application for effective removal of methylene blue from aqueous solution

Shanmuga Kittappa, Saravanan Pichiah, Jung Rae Kim, Yeomin Yoon, Shane A Snyder, Min Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Via a new synthetic route, magnetized nanocomposite mesoporous material (MNCM) was prepared using silica (SiO<inf>2</inf>) and nano-magnetite (Fe<inf>3</inf>O<inf>4</inf>). The formation mechanism of MNCM was determined using various spectroscopic analyses. Among the synthesized materials, MNCM-1, prepared with a molecular weight ratio of Fe<inf>3</inf>O<inf>4</inf> to SiO<inf>2</inf> of 0.14:1, had a homogeneous mesopore structure with a mean pore size of 4.68 nm, specific surface area of 576 m<sup>2</sup> g<sup>-1</sup>, and a pore volume of 0.65 cm<sup>3</sup> g<sup>-1</sup>. MNCM-1 had magnetic properties (2.9 emu) and structural strength, as well as higher and faster adsorptive MB removal than other mesoporous materials. The removal of MB by MNCM-1 was found to be a physisorption process with an electrostatic interaction between negatively charged silanol (Si-O<sup>-</sup>) and positively charged MB, and was thermodynamically favorable at higher temperatures. The economic assessment revealed that treatment costs for MB-containing water using MNCM-1 were 16-80 times lower than those with other mesoporous materials, due to the use of the cheap Si precursor and the higher sorption capacity. Furthermore, MNCM-1 can be reused and regenerated without any defects after easy separation using a magnet. Because MNCM-1 can be produced economically on a large scale, it may have significant effects for adsorption-based treatment systems with regard to the removal of MB from waste water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
StatePublished - Oct 16 2015


  • Adsorption
  • Magnetite
  • Mesoporous
  • Nanocomposite
  • Reuse
  • Silica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation

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