Novel magnetic cellulose acetate (CA) nanofibers were fabricated using an electrospinning process. Co-precipitated magnetite iron oxide nanoparticles were immobilized onto CA nanofibers at different weight ratios (0.2–2.5% wt/v) with a CA concentration of 15% (wt %), applied electric voltage of 20 kV, feeding rate of 1.5 ml/h and 7 cm distance between needle tip and collector. The prepared iron oxide nanoparticles were characterized using X-ray diffraction, a transmission electron microscope, a Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer (FT-IR) and a vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM). The magnetic nanofibers were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, FT-IR, thermogravimetric analysis and VSM. The fabricated composite nanofibers were evaluated as a sorbent matrix for lead decontamination from aqueous solution using a batch technique. The influence of solution pH, contact time and adsorbent concentration on the removal efficiency was investigated. Adsorption kinetics models and isotherms were applied to the lead decontamination process onto the fabricated composite nanofibers. The kinetics of the sorption process revealed that the pseudo-second-order model fitted relatively better than the pseudo-first-order model. On the other hand, both the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms gave a comparable fit to the adsorption data, with a high coefficient of regression of 0.999.

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