Kinetics of adsorption of methylene blue and rhodamine 6G on acrylic acid-based superabsorbents



Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) of acrylic acid, sodium acrylate, and acrylamide (AM), crosslinked with ethylene glycol dimethacrylate, were synthesized by inverse suspension polymerization. The equilibrium swelling capacities of the SAPs were determined and these decreased with increasing AM content. The adsorption of the two cationic dyes, methylene blue and rhodamine 6G, on the dry as well as equilibrium swollen SAPs was investigated. The amount of the dye adsorbed at equilibrium per unit weight of the SAPs and the rate constants of adsorption were determined. The amount of the dye adsorbed at equilibrium by the SAPs decreased with increasing mol % of AM in the SAPs. The amount of the dye adsorbed at equilibrium was almost equal for the dry and equilibrium swollen SAPs. However, the equilibrium swollen SAPs adsorbed dyes at a higher rate than the dry SAPs. The higher rate of adsorption was attributed to the availability of all the anionic groups present in the fully elongated conformation of the SAPs in the equilibrium swollen state. The effect of initial dye concentration on the adsorption was also investigated and the adsorption was described by Langmuir adsorption isotherms. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2012