The environmental applications of graphene oxide and β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) have attracted great attention since their first discovery. Novel nanocomposites were successfully prepared by using an esterification reaction between β-cyclodextrin/γ-(2,3-epoxypropoxy) propyl trimethoxysilane grafted graphene oxide (β-CD/GPTMS/GO). The β-CD/GPTMS/GO nanocomposites were used to remove the Cu2+ from aqueous solutions. The characteristics of β-CD/GPTMS/GO were detected by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared, X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TG) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX). The dispersibility of graphene oxide was excellent due to the addition of β-CD. The adsorption isotherms data obtained at the optimum pH 7 were fitted by Langmuir isotherm model. The excellent adsorption properties of β-CD/GPTMS/GO for Cu2+ ions could be attributed to the apolar cavity structure of β-CD, the high surface area and abundant functional groups on the surface of GO. The adsorption patterns of β-CD/GPTMS/GO were electrostatic attraction, formation of host-guest inclusion complexes and the ion exchange adsorption. The efficient adsorption of β-CD/GPTMS/GO for Cu2+ ions suggested that these novel nanocomposites may be ideal candidates for removing other cation pollutants from waste water.

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