The unique and versatile adsorbents zirconium oxyhydroxide (ZrOOH), aluminum oxyhydroxide (AlOOH), zirconium-aluminum oxyhydroxide (ZrxAl1-xOOH) and chitosan-supported zirconium-aluminum oxyhydroxide (CS@ZrxAl1-xOOH) were synthesized via a simple co-precipitation method. CS was used as a pillar-like support to reinforce the ZrxAl1-xOOH, the resulting material was capable of simultaneously adsorbing both F− and AsO3 3− because the functional groups of CS facilitated the formation of both ZrOOH and AlOOH nanoparticles. Interestingly, ZrxAl1-xOOH and CS@ ZrxAl1-xOOH had better F− adsorption capacities at pH<7, whereas better AsO3 3− removal was observed at pH>9. The Langmuir maximum adsorption capacity of CS@ZrxAl1-xOOH was 0.655 and 0.983 mmol g−1 for AsO3 3− and F−, respectively and the performance was superior to that of previously reported metallic oxide and chitosan-based sorbents. In addition, the presence of coexisting anions revealed that the CS@ZrxAl1-xOOH material selectively removed AsO3 3− over F− in a binary batch system. The adsorption kinetics of the adsorbents were well fit to the pseudo-second-order model. Due to the simultaneous and quick uptake capacity and cost-effectiveness, CS@ZrxAl1-xOOH nanocomposite have potential application in environmental cleanup.
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