This study examined the removal of acidic indigo carmine dyes from aqueous solutions using cationic hydrogels. Irradiated hydrogels were investigated as a new sorbent for dye removal from aqueous solution. Poly(N,N-Diethylamino ethyl methacrylate) [poly(DEAEMA)] hydrogels were prepared by radiation polymerisation of N,N-diethylamino ethyl methacrylate [DEAEMA] monomer in the presence of cross-linking agent, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate [EGDMA], and used for the removal of acidic indigo carmine textile dye. The adsorption of dyes was examined using a batch sorption technique. The effects of pH, time and initial dye concentration on the adsorption capacity of hydrogels were investigated. Maximum gelation ratio was 98.2% at irradiation dose of 5.3 kGy. Maximum equilibrium volume swelling, V/V0, value was 21.3 at pH 2.8. Maximum amount of adsorbed indigo carmine onto hydrogels was 96.7 mg dye/g gel at pH 2.8, 21 h of adsorption time and 120 mg/L initial dye solution. Swelling and adsorption capacity increased with decreasing of pH. Compared with Congo red, amounts of adsorbed indigo carmine are much higher than those of Congo red. Langmuir isotherm model was the best fit for these poly(DEAEMA) hydrogels-indigo carmine systems.

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