Highly branched triple-chain surfactant-mediated electrochemical exfoliation of graphite to obtain graphene oxide: colloidal behaviour and application in water treatment

Nur Amirah Jamaluddin, Azmi Mohamed*, Suriani Abu Bakar, Tretya Ardyani, Masanobu Sagisaka, Shota Suhara, Mohamad Hafiz Mamat, Mohd Khairul Ahmad, Stephen M. King, Sarah E. Rogers, Julian Eastoe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The generation of surfactant-assisted exfoliated graphene oxide (sEGO) by electrochemical exfoliation is influenced by the presence of surfactants, and in particular the hydrophobic tail molecular-architecture. Increasing surfactant chain branching may improve the affinity for the graphite surfaces to provide enhanced intersheet separation and stabilisation of exfoliated sheets. The resulting sEGO composites can be readily used to remove of a model pollutant, the dye, methylene blue (MB), from aqueous solutions by providing abundant sites for dye adsorption. This article explores relationships between surfactant structure and the performance of sEGO for MB adsorption. Double-branched and highly branched triple-chain graphene-compatible surfactants were successfully synthesised and characterised by1H NMR spectroscopy. These surfactants were used to produce sEGOviaelectrochemical exfoliation of graphite, and the sEGOs generated were further utilised in batch adsorption studies of MB from aqueous solutions. The properties of these synthesised surfactants were compared with those of a common single-chain standard surfactant, sodium dodecyl-sulfate (SDS). The structural morphology of sEGO was assessed using Raman spectroscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). To reveal the links between the hydrophobic chain structure and the sEGO adsorption capacity, UV-visible spectroscopy, zeta potential, and air-water (a/w) surface tension measurements were conducted. The aggregation behaviour of the surfactants was studied using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). The highly branched triple-chain surfactant sodium 1,4-bis(neopentyloxy)-3-(neopentylcarbonyl)-1,4-dioxobutane-2-sulfonate (TC14) displayed enhanced exfoliating efficiency compared to those of the single-and double-chain surfactants, leading to ∼83% MB removal. The findings suggest that highly branched triple-chain surfactants are able to offer more adsorption sites, by expanding the sEGO interlayer gap for MB adsorption, compared to standard single-chain surfactants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12732-12744
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number22
Early online date19 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded under a grant from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris Rising Star Research Grant (Grant Code: 2019-0118-103-01). This project was also supported by JSPS [KAKENHI, Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (A), No 23685034] and Leading Research Organizations (RCUK [through EPSRC EP/I018301/1], ANR[13-G8ME0003]) under the G8 Research Councils Initiative for Multi-lateral Research Funding—G8-2012. The authors thank the Science and Technology Facilities Council for the allocation of beam time, travel and consumables (experiment number RB1710004). This work benefited from the use of the SasView application, originally developed under NSF Award DMR-0520547. SasView also contains code developed with funding from the EU Horizon 2020 programme under the SINE2020 project Grant No. 654000.

Funding Information:
This work was funded under a grant from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris Rising Star Research Grant (Grant Code: 2019-0118-103-01). This project was also supported by JSPS [KAKENHI, Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (A), No 23685034] and Leading Research Organizations (RCUK [through EPSRC EP/I018301/1], ANR[13-G8ME0003]) under the G8 Research Councils Initiative for Multi-lateral Research Funding?G8-2012. The authors thank the Science and Technology Facilities Council for the allocation of beam time, travel and consumables (experiment number RB1710004). This work benefited from the use of the SasView application, originally developed under NSF Award DMR-0520547. SasView also contains code developed with funding from the EU Horizon 2020 programme under the SINE2020 project Grant No. 654000.

Publisher Copyright:
© the Owner Societies 2020.

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Highly branched triple-chain surfactant-mediated electrochemical exfoliation of graphite to obtain graphene oxide: colloidal behaviour and application in water treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this