Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)/iron oxide magnetic composites (named as MCs) were prepared by co-precipitation method, and were characterised by scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) in detail. The prepared MCs were employed as an adsorbent for the removal of Pb(II) and Cu(II) ions from wastewater in heavy metal ion pollution cleanup. The results demonstrated that the sorption of Pb(II) and Cu(II) ions was strongly dependent on pH and temperature. The experimental data were well described by Langmuir model, and the monolayer sorption capacity of MCs was found to vary from 10.02 to 31.25 mg/g for Pb(II) and from 3.11 to 8.92 mg/g for Cu(II) at temperature increasing from 293.15 to 353.15 K at pH 5.50. The sorption capacity of Pb(II) on MCs was higher than that of Cu(II), which was attributed to their ionic radius, hydration energies and hydrolysis of their hydroxides. The thermodynamic parameters (i.e., ΔH0, ΔS0 and ΔG0) were calculated from temperature dependent sorption isotherms, and the results indicated that the sorption of Pb(II) and Cu(II) ions on MCs were spontaneous and endothermic processes.

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