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Hydrogel of kappa-carrageenan as adsorbent for methylene blue

Saiyidah Nafisah Saidin, Nadhratun Naiim Mobarak


Dyes are often used in the textile, printing, paper production and cosmetic industries. Removal of dyes from industrial effluent through adsorption process has attracted many researchers. Methylene blue is one of the widely used dyes. Adsorbent based on kappa-carrageenan which can be categorized as an anionic polymer are expected to be able to interact with methylene blue which is a cationic dye. However, the adsorbent in the form of hydrogel was expected to improve the adsorption capacity due to its high density of functional group and the presence of cross linking in the hydrogel will slow down the solubilization of adsorbent in the aqueous solution. The presence of excess potassium ions during the extraction of kappa-carrageenan from seaweed is expected to assist in the process of forming a three-dimensional network in the kappa-carrageenan structure. Besides that, the removal of water will induce the formation of hydrogen bond between kappa-carrageenan chains. Therefore, the effect of temperature during the drying process of kappa-carrageenan based hydrogel has been studied. Three different temperatures were used which are room temperature, 90°C and 100°C. The functional group of kappa-carrageenan has been identified via Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR-ATR) whereas the analysis and distribution on the surface of kappa-carrageenan film were identified using Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM). Swelling tests in distilled water is performed to determine the degree of swelling (DS) for all three methods. Hydrogel that provides highest swelling value are used as Methylene Blue adsorbent. The degree of swelling data showed hydrogel that was produced by drying at room temperature has the high degree of swelling compared to hydrogel produced by drying at 90°C and 100°C. Hydrogel produced at 90°C and 100°C are fragile compared to the rigidity of hydrogel produced at room temperature. For the adsorption of dye using hydrogel produced at room temperature, the highest adsorption capacity was 0.062 mg/g using 0.15 g kappa-carrageenan. This indicates that the hydrogel of kappa-carrageenan without using cross-linking agents has successfully been developed.


Kappa-carrageenan; Potassium Ion; Degree of swelling; Methylene Blue

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