ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
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One-step strategy for the synthesis of magnetic mesoporous carbon composite materials incorporating iron, cobalt and nickel nanoparticles

Zahraa H. Athab, Ahmed F. Halbus, and Gillian M. Greenway

Environmental Research and Studies Center, University of Babylon, Hilla, Iraq



Received: 5 December 2021  Accepted: 4 May 2022


In this work, magnetic mesoporous carbon monoliths (CMs) were synthesized by loading the magnetic ions, iron, cobalt and nickel, onto the carbon framework. The carbon monolith matrix was prepared by the soft templating route, resulting in mesoporous carbon monoliths of Fe/CM, Co/CM and Ni/CM, respectively. Throughout this study, resorcinol and formaldehyde were used as the carbon precursor and the triblock copolymer, Pluronic F127, as the templating agent. The metal ions were loaded during the polymerization stage in a one-step preparation method. The results showed that the carbon monolith displayed a mesoporous structure and that the metals were captured by the CM walls. It was found that the synthesized samples exhibited a high surface area (537, 434 and 528 m2/g) and narrow average pore size distribution (4.30, 4.28, and 4.31 nm) for Fe/CM, Co/CM and Ni/CM, respectively. The results confirmed that the soft template was decomposed during the carbonization process to form the pores in the carbon materials, and the metals ions (Fe, Ni, or Co) were reduced metallic nanoparticles with the increase in carbonization temperature to 800 °C. Seeing from other publications that these materials we prepared appear to have remarkable dispersed metal nanoparticles on the carbon matrix when compared to same materials synthesized by a similar method mentioned in the literature. The metals’ nanoparticle concentrations were found to be 1–2 wt%, and average particle size is between 5 and 50 nm. Moreover, these materials were found to exhibit paramagnetic behaviour by measuring the mass magnetic susceptibility. The fabricated Fe/CM, Co/CM and Ni/CM showed excellent adsorption efficiency towards MB dye compared with the free metal mesoporous carbon monolith (CM) due to magnetic nanoparticles combined with carbon matrix-enhanced intrinsic activity and provided more active sites.

Keywords: Magnetic mesoporous carbon monolith; Metal nanoparticles; Pluronic F127; Self-assembly

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-022-02271-4


Chemical Papers 76 (9) 5613–5625 (2022)

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