Xanthate was successfully grafted onto bentonite by a relatively simple solution reaction. The obtained xanthated bentonite (XBent) was characterized by FT-IR spectrophotometer, thermogravimetric analysis (TG), particle size analysis, x-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). XBent acting as a type of environmentally friendly adsorbent was applied to remove lead ions from aqueous solutions. The optimum conditions were as follows: [Pb2 + ] = 500 mg L−1, [XBent] = 2 g L−1, pH = 5.0; oscillating 60 min under 200 rpm at 25°C. The removal rate of lead was up to 99.9%. It was found that the lead(II) ions—XBent adsorption isotherm model fitted well to the Freundlich isotherm. The adsorption mechanism was also investigated by SEM and XRD, which concluded that lead ions were complexed or chelated with XBent. XBent appears to have potential to be used later in water treatment as a type of inorganic polymer reagent.

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