Two-Dimensional Ti3C2Tx MXene Nanosheets for Efficient Copper Removal from Water

Asif Shahzad, Kashif Rasool, Waheed Miran, Mohsin Nawaz, Jiseon Jang, Khaled Mahmoud, Dae Sung Lee

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55 Citations (Scopus)


The performance of two-dimensional (2D) Ti3C2Tx MXene nanosheets in the adsorption and copper removal from aqueous media was investigated. Delaminated (DL)-Ti3C2Tx exhibited excellent Cu removal ability, because of their large specific surface area, hydrophilicity, and unique surface functional properties. Scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses were performed to analyze the structural changes in Ti3C2Tx MXene and its interaction with Cu ions. Oxygenated moieties in the layered structure of MXene facilitated reductive adsorption of Cu2+ forming Cu2O and CuO species. DL-Ti3C2Tx exhibited a higher and faster Cu uptake, compared to multilayer (ML)-Ti3C2Tx. The maximum experimental adsorption capacity (Qexp,max) was 78.45 mg g-1, and 80% of the total content of metal ions was adsorbed within 1 min. A pseudo-second-order kinetic model and the Freundlich adsorption isotherm accurately describe the equilibrium time and maximum Cu uptake onto the adsorbent material, respectively. Thermodynamic analysis revealed that the adsorption process was endothermic. The adsorption capacity (Qe) of DL-Ti3C2Tx was 2.7 times higher than that of a commercially available activated carbon. The present results illustrate the promising potential of 2D MXene nanosheets for the removal of toxic metals from water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11481-11488
Number of pages8
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2017



  • Adsorption
  • Heavy metals
  • Isotherms
  • Metal carbide
  • TiCT MXene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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