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Sorption efficiency of chitosan nanofibers toward metal ions at low concentrations
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Chitosan fibers showing narrow diameter distribution with a mean of 42 nm were produced by electrospinning and utilized for the sorption of Fe(III), Cu(II), Ag(I), and Cd(II) ions from aqueous solutions. The ion concentrations in the supernatant solutions were determined using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The filtration efficiency of the fibers toward these ions was studied by both batch and microcolumn methods. High efficiency in sorption of the metal ions was obtained in the both methods. The effects of sorbent amount (0.10−0.50 mg), shaking time (15−120 min), initial metal ion concentration (10.0−1000.0 μg·L−1), and temperature (25 and 50 °C) on the extent of sorption were examined. The sorbent amount did not significantly alter the efficiency of sorption; however, shaking time, temperature, and metal ion concentration were found to have a strong influence on sorption. By virtue of its mechanical integrity, the applicability of the chitosan mat in solid phase extraction under continuous flow looks promising.