In this study, a new sorbent, a poly(acrylamide-co-itaconic acid) [P(AAm-co-IA)]/activated charcoal (AC) composite, was prepared by the aqueous polymerization of acrylamide and itaconic acid in the presence of AC with N,N′-methylene bisacrylamide as a crosslinker and potassium persulfate as an initiator. The P(AAm-co-IA)/AC composite sorbent showed a fair capacity to adsorb the cationic dye methylene blue. The maximum sorption capacity, as studied at 23, 37, and 50°C and determined with the Langmuir isotherm model, was found to be 909.0, 312.5, and 192.3 mg/g, respectively. For an initial concentration of 5 mg/L, the kinetic uptake data were studied with various kinetic models. The pseudo-second-order equation was found to fairly fit the uptake data with a regression value of 0.999. The dye uptake increased with the pH of the sorbate solution, and the optimum pH was found to be in the range of 7–10. Intraparticle diffusion was also observed to take place, and the coefficient of intraparticle diffusion was evaluated to be 26.51 × 10−2 mg g−1 min−1/2. The various thermodynamic parameters were also determined to predict the nature of the uptake process. The sorption process was found to be spontaneous, as indicated by a negative standard free energy change. The negative standard enthalpy change suggested an exothermic nature for the uptake. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011
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