Polymer composite adsorbents using particles of molecularly imprinted polymers or aluminium oxide nanoparticles for treatment of arsenic contaminated waters.

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Abstract

Removal of As(V) by adsorption from water solutions was studied using three different synthetic adsorbents. The adsorbents, (a) aluminium nanoparticles (Alu-NPs, <50 nm) incorporated in amine rich cryogels (Alu-cryo), (b) molecular imprinted polymers (<38 μm) in polyacrylamide cryogels (MIP-cryo) and (c) thiol functionalised cryogels (SH-cryo) were evaluated regarding material characteristics and arsenic removal in batch test and continuous mode. Results revealed that a composite design with particles incorporated in cryogels was a successful means for applying small particles (nano- and micro- scale) in water solutions with maintained adsorption capacity and kinetics. Low capacity was obtained from SH-cryo and this adsorbent was hence excluded from the study. The adsorption capacities for the composites were 20.3 ± 0.8 mg/g adsorbent (Alu-cryo) and 7.9 ± 0.7 mg/g adsorbent (MIP-cryo) respectively. From SEM images it was seen that particles were homogeneously distributed in Alu-cryo and heterogeneously distributed in MIP-cryo. The particle incorporation increased the mechanical stability and the polymer backbones of pure polyacrylamide (MIP-cryo) were of better stability than the amine containing polymer backbone (Alu-cryo). Both composites worked well in the studied pH range of pH 2-8. Adsorption tested in real wastewater spiked with arsenic showed that co-ions (nitrate, sulphate and phosphate) affected arsenic removal for Alu-cryo more than for MIP-cryo. Both composites still adsorbed well in the presence of counter-ions (copper and zinc) present at low concentrations (μg/l). The unchanged and selective adsorption in realistic water observed for MIP-cryo was concluded to be due to a successful imprinting, here controlled using a non-imprinted polymer (NIP). A development of MIP-cryo is needed, considering its low adsorption capacity.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Industrial Biotechnology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4111-4120
JournalWater Research
Volume46
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Organic chemistry (S/LTH) (011001240), Biotechnology (LTH) (011001037)