Alkaline deoxygenated graphene oxide (aGO) was prepared through alkaline hydrothermal treatment and used as adsorbent to remove Cd(II) ions from aqueous solutions for the first time. The characterization results of transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectra indicate that aGO was successfully synthesized. The batch adsorption experiments showed that the adsorption kinetics could be described by the pseudo-second-order kinetic model, and the isotherms equilibrium data were well fitted with the Langmuir model. The maximum adsorption capacity of Cd(II) on aGO was 156 mg/g at pH 5 and T = 293 K. The adsorption thermodynamic parameters indicated that the adsorption process was a spontaneous and endothermic reaction. The mainly adsorption mechanism speculated from FT-IR results may be attributed to the electrostatic attraction between Cd2+ and negatively charged groups (–CO) of aGO and cation-π interaction between Cd2+ and the graphene planes. The findings of this study demonstrate the potential utility of the nanomaterial aGO as an effective adsorbent for Cd(II) removal from aqueous solutions.

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