1 Environmental Science Research Laboratory, Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran

2 Organic Chemistry Research Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran


In this study, an easy synthesized method for preparation of chitosan/iron oxide nanocomposite as a bio-sorbent has been applied. Analytical techniques such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction; Field emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy were utilized to survey of morphological structure and the functional groups characterization. The histogram of frequency of particle size confirmed that medium size of the synthesized nanoparticles was 50 nm. Beside the obtained nanocomposite, application of chitosan as the precursor and shrimp shell as natural chitin and a natural polymer were assessed as adsorbents for decontamination of Ni2+, Cd2+ and Pb2+ as examples of heavy metals from drinking water. Batch studies were performed for adsorption experiments by changing variables such as pH, contact time and adsorbent dose. Based on the experimental sorption capacities, 58, 202 and 12 mg of Ni, Cd and Pb per g of Chitosan-Fe2O3 nanocomposite as adsorbent respectively, confirm that combination of Fe2O3 nanoparticles with chitosan makes a more efficient adsorbent than chitosan and chitin. Adsorbents in uptake of the mentioned heavy metals are in the order of Chitosan-Fe2O3 nanocomposite > chitosan> chitin. In addition, the kinetics and isotherm investigations were surveyed. Moreover, it has been shown that the synthesized nanocomposite significantly reduces the amount of the mentioned ions from the real wastewater sample.

Graphical Abstract

Synthesized chitosan/ iron oxide nanocomposite and shrimp shell in removal of nickel, cadmium and lead from aqueous solution


  • Three eco-friendly adsorbents were used successfully in size, adsorbent type and pH selective for separation of Ni, Cd and Pb ions from wastewater
  • Combination of Fe2O3 nanoparticles with chitosan made more efficient adsorbent than chitosan and chitin
  • Synthesized nanocomposite significantly reduced the amount of the mentioned ions from wastewater samples
  • Shrimp shell and chitosan-Fe2O3 nanocomposite were efficient adsorbents for treatment of polluted waters with Ni, Cd and Pb ions.


Main Subjects


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