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Synthesis and characterization of electrospun composite nanofibers from Moringa oleifera biomass and metal oxide nanoparticles as potential adsorbents for the removal of lead ions

Ronald Ngulube, Letitia Pillay, and Nolwazi Nombona

Department of Chemistry, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa



Received: 1 December 2022  Accepted: 25 September 2023


Electrospun multicomposite nanofibers synthesized from extracts of Moringa oleifera (M. oleifera) seed biomass blended with metal oxide nanoparticles (MONPs) and polyacrylonitrile (PAN) were investigated as potential adsorbents. The materials were characterized using SEM, XRD, FTIR, BET and TGA. The specific surface area of MONPs ranged between 29.75 and 60.92 m2/g and their incorporation in the PAN/M. oleifera composite blend resulted in increased surface coarseness and larger nanofiber diameters (268 ± 21–317 ± 27 nm). The application of PAN/M. oleifera/MONPs for Pb(II) removal from aqueous solution via batch adsorption experiments was investigated based on the parameters: solution pH, contact time and initial Pb(II) ion concentration. Experimental results better fitted the Langmuir isotherm model and pseudo-second-order kinetics. Adsorption capacities ranged between 172.4 and 227.3 mg/g. These results demonstrate that low-cost indigenous materials have significance and applicability in water remediation applications.

Keywords: Electrospinning; Nanofiber; Moringa oleifera; Lead ions; Adsorption

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-023-03115-5


Chemical Papers 78 (1) 599–611 (2024)

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