Amphiphilic engineering of reduced graphene oxides using a carbon nitride coating for superior removal of organic pollutants from wastewater

Meng Li, Qiuhan Li, Mengwen Xu, Bowen Liu, David G. Calatayud, Lidong Wang, Zhigang Hu, Tony D. James, Boyang Mao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Amphiphilic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) was decorated onto reduced graphene oxide (rGO) to obtain rGO-g-C3N4 composites as excellent adsorbents for the removal of aromatic organic compounds from industrial wastewater. The as obtained rGO-g-C3N4 composites are effective adsorbents for organic compounds due to the amphiphilic g-C3N4. We propose a new adsorption model using an amphiphilic additive which can enhance the water accessibility and hydrophobic interactions between rGO with organic compounds in aqueous media. Where, even water-soluble organic molecules like rhodamine B (RhB) have a high adsorption capability for the rGO-g-C3N4 (520 mg g−1). Molecular dynamics simulations were used to investigate the interactions between RhB and rGO-g-C3N4 and indicated that amphiphilic g-C3N4 accelerates the adsorption process. In addition, the amphipathic adsorption approach is enhanced as the salinity of water increases, which can offer great operational flexibility and versatility. This research demonstrates that the highly efficient interactions between aromatic organic molecules and amphiphilic carbon-based nanomaterials can be used for practical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-491
Number of pages13
Early online date19 Aug 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Aug 2021


  • Adsorption
  • Amphipathicity
  • Aromatic pollutants
  • Graphitic carbon nitride
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

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