A novel method was proposed for efficient co-removal of Cu (II) and phthalic acid (PA) using self-synthesized polyamine resin (R-NH2). The adsorption properties of R-NH2 were thoroughly investigated by equilibrium, kinetic and dynamic tests in sole and binary systems at pH 5.0. The Freundlich model was a good fit for all the isotherm data, showing higher Kf values in the binary system than the sole system. The pseudo-second-order kinetic equation showed a better correlation to the experimental data in all cases and PA uptake was much faster than that of Cu (II). R-NH2 showed highest adsorption capacities to both Cu (II) and PA among the five tested resins. Moreover, the presence of PA markedly enhanced the adsorption of Cu (II), being around 3.5 times of that of the sole system. The adsorption of PA was also slightly increased when Cu (II) was coexistent. Furthermore, using Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) and species calculations, possible mechanisms were proposed that Cu (II) coordinated with –NH2 and negative PA species interacted with –NH3+ by electrostatic attraction. [Cu-PA] complex in the binary system possessed a much higher affinity than free Cu (II) to chelating with –NH2, resulting in mutual enhancement.

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