Ecofriendly adsorption and sensitive detection of Hg (II) by biomass-derived nitrogen-doped carbon dots: process modelling using central composite design

Mohammed Abdullah Issa, Hamid Zentou, Zaid H Jabbar, Zurina Z Abidin, Haninah Harun, Noor Amirah Abdul Halim, Mohammed M Alkhabet, Musa Y Pudza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


In this study, luminescent bio-adsorbent nitrogen-doped carbon dots (N-CDs) was produced and applied for the removal and detection of Hg (II) from aqueous media. N-CDs were synthesized from oil palm empty fruit bunch carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) and urea. According to several analytical techniques used, the obtained N-CDs display graphitic core with an average size of 4.2 nm, are enriched with active sites, stable over a wide range of pH and have great resistance to photobleaching. The N-CDs have bright blue emission with an improved quantum yield (QY) of up to 35.5%. The effect of the variables including pH, adsorbent mass, initial concentration and incubation time on the removal of Hg (II) was investigated using central composite design. The statistical results confirmed that the adsorption process could reach equilibrium within 30 min. The reduced cubic model (R2 = 0.9989) revealed a good correlation between the observed values and predicted data. The optimal variables were pH of 7, dose of 0.1 g, initial concentration of 100 mg/L and duration of 30 min. Under these conditions, adsorption efficiency of 84.6% was obtained. The adsorption kinetic data could be well expressed by pseudo-second-order kinetic and Langmuir isotherm models. The optimal adsorption capacity was 116.3 mg g−1. Furthermore, the adsorbent has a good selectivity towards Hg (II) with a detection limit of 0.01 μM due to the special interaction between Hg (II) and carboxyl/amino groups on the edge of N-CDs. This work provided an alternative direction for constructing low-cost adsorbents with effective sorption and sensing of Hg (II).
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEnvironmental science and pollution research international
StatePublished - Jul 8 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-09-14
Acknowledgements: This research context is supported by the UPM under the GP-IPS/2017/9556800 grant. The first author would like to thank Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq University, Iraq, for their continued support and encouragement to publish in reputable journals.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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