Abstract

Currently, textile wastewater management focuses on dye removal efficiency and operating costs. Dual responsive polymers are choice materials because they can extract diverse organic compounds from water at their phase transition point. They are copolymers of the acrylamide class, and have been fully characterized by FT-IR, 1H-NMR, DSC, GPC and surface area analysis. Of the five dual responsive polymers, the copolymer of NIPAAM and DMAEMA (CoP-1) offers the best extraction of acidic and basic dyes from wastewater. All copolymers investigated can achieve better than 90% dye removal when used at 4 mg/ml concentration. This dye-scavenging efficiency increases to almost 99% at 3 mg/ml, on conversion of the copolymers to nanofibers in 300 to 500 nm size. Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms were constructed to study the mechanism of dye adsorption. The nanofibers have been shown to be reusable for removal of dyes from water, suggesting that such systems may add benefit to current dye removal methods from textile industry wastewater.

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