Hierarchical MnO2 nanostructures were prepared through the reaction between KMnO4 and oleic acid at room temperature in the surfactant-free microemulsion system. The obtained samples were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction, N2 adsorption, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The results indicated that the flowerlike nanospheres were three-dimensional (3D) porous microstructures consisting of nanoplates. The surface area of the sample was 171.5 m2/g and the distribution of pore diameter lay within the range of 5–15 nm. The prepared hierarchically structured MnO2 showed excellent adsorption capacity and rapid adsorption rate for methylene blue ions in water. The maximum adsorption capacity of methylene blue was as high as 273.9 mg/g and 97.5% of the dye was removed within initial 5 min of contact time. Compared with other adsorbents, the synthesized hierarchical MnO2 nanostructures displayed a faster adsorption rate and higher adsorption capacity, which implied potential application for removing dye pollutants from waste water.

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