Clay–polymer nanocomposites: Progress and challenges for use in sustainable water treatment

Raj Mukhopadhyay, Debarati Bhaduri, Binoy Sarkar, Ruhaida Rusmin, Deyi Hou, Rubina Khanam, Subhas Sarkar, Jayanta Kumar Biswas, Meththika Vithanage, Amit Bhatnagar, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


Contaminant removal from water involves various technologies among which adsorption is considered to be simple, effective, economical, and sustainable. In recent years, nanocomposites prepared by combining clay minerals and polymers have emerged as a novel technology for cleaning contaminated water. Here, we provide an overview of various types of clay–polymer nanocomposites focusing on their synthesis processes, characteristics, and possible applications in water treatment. By evaluating various mechanisms and factors involved in the decontamination processes, we demonstrate that the nanocomposites can overcome the limitations of individual polymer and clay components such as poor specificity, pH dependence, particle size sensitivity, and low water wettability. We also discuss different regeneration and wastewater treatment options (e.g., membrane, coagulant, and barrier/columns) using clay–polymer nanocomposites. Finally, we provide an economic analysis of the use of these adsorbents and suggest future research directions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121125
JournalJournal of hazardous materials
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 5

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


  • Clay–polymer composites
  • Contaminant removal
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Synthesis and characterization
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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