Multifunctional graphene oxide/biopolymer composite aerogels for microcontaminants removal from drinking water
Journal article, 2020

Due to water depletion and increasing level of pollution from standard and emerging contaminants, the development of more efficient purification materials and technology for drinking water treatment is a crucial challenge to be addressed in the near future. Graphene oxide (GO) has been pointed as one of the most promising materials to build structure and devices for new adsorbents and filtration systems. Here, we analyzed two types of GO doped 3D chitosan-gelatin aerogels with GO sheets embedded in the bulk or deposited on the surface. Through combined structural characterization and adsorption tests on selected proxies of drinking water micropollutants, we compared both GO-embedded and GO-coated materials and established the best architecture for achieving enhanced removal efficiency toward con- taminants in water. To evaluate the best configuration, we studied the adsorption capacity of both systems on two organic molecules (i.e., fluoroquinolonic antibiotics ofloxacin and ciprofloxacin) and a heavy metal (lead Pb2þ) of great environmental relevance and with already proved high affinity for GO. The Pb monolayer maximum adsorption capacity qmax was 11.1 mg/g for embedded GO aerogels and 1.5 mg/g in coated GO-ones. Only minor differences were found for organic contaminants between coating and embedding approaches with an adsorption capacity of 5e8 mg/g and no adsorption was found for chitosan-gelatin control aerogels without GO. Finally, potential antimicrobial effects were found particularly for the GO-coated aerogels materials, thus corroborating the multifunctionality of the newly developed porous structures.


​Recycling, Resources, Urban, Waste, Water



Alessandro Kovtun

Institute for organic syntheses and photoreactivity (ISOF-CNR)

Elisabetta Campodoni

Institute of science and technology for ceramics (ISTEC-CNR)

Laura Favaretto

Institute for organic syntheses and photoreactivity (ISOF-CNR)

Massimo Zambianchi

Institute for organic syntheses and photoreactivity (ISOF-CNR)

Anastasio Salatino

Water research institute (IRSA-CNR)

Stefano Amalfitano

Water research institute (IRSA-CNR)

Maria Luisa Navacchia

Institute for organic syntheses and photoreactivity (ISOF-CNR)

Barbara Casentini

Water research institute (IRSA-CNR)

Vincenzo Palermo

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Materials and manufacture

Monica Sandri

Institute of science and technology for ceramics (ISTEC-CNR)

Manuela Melucci

Institute for organic syntheses and photoreactivity (ISOF-CNR)


0045-6535 (ISSN)

Vol. 259 November 2020 127501

Graphene Core Project 3 (Graphene Flagship)

European Commission (EC), 2020-04-01 -- 2023-03-31.

Areas of Advance

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (SO 2010-2017, EI 2018-)


Materials Science

Subject Categories

Water Engineering


Environmental Sciences


Chalmers Materials Analysis Laboratory



More information

Latest update