Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Biomass derived palygorskite-carbon nanocomposites


Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Biomass derived palygorskite-carbon nanocomposites: Synthesis, characterisation and affinity to dye compounds

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Binoy Sarkar
  • Erming Liu
  • Stuart McClure
  • Jayaraman Sundaramurthy
  • Madapusi Srinivasan
  • Ravi Naidu
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/09/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Applied Clay Science
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)617-626
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Clay minerals can act as a uniform dispersion medium for nano-sized carbon particles. However, literature on the preparation and characteristics of palygorskite-carbon nanocomposites is scant. Using a hydrothermal carbonisation technique this study developed two nanocomposites on fibrous palygorskite from starch: the first without a post-synthesis treatment (Composite 1); and the second with an activation at 550°C for 3h (ramp at 10°Cmin-1) under CO2 environment (200mLmin-1) (Composite 2). A uniform dispersion of nano-scale carbon spheres was formed on partially destroyed palygorskite structures. Composite 2, which indicated the formation of graphitised carbon nanoparticles, generated a 17-fold greater specific surface area than Composite 1 and also created micro- and mesopores in its structure. The nanocomposites, especially in Composite 1, contained organic surface functional groups (CH, CC, CO) and indicated variable affinity to cationic and anionic dye compounds. While Composite 2 adsorbed a larger amount of anionic orange II dye (23mgg-1), Composite 1 adsorbed more cationic methylene blue (46.3mgg-1). Isothermal and kinetic modelling of the adsorption data indicated that in addition to electrostatic attraction for methylene blue adsorption on both nanocomposites, a pore diffusion mechanism was involved and the boundary resistance was greater for orange II than methylene blue adsorption. Being a material developed from green biomass (starch) and an abundant natural resource (palygorskite), these nanocomposites have immense potential for application in environmental remediation including in situ immobilisation of contaminants in soil.