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Metal–organic framework as an efficient filter for the removal of heavy metal cations in water

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Abstract

Heavy metal ions from water and wastewater are non-biodegradable and tend to accumulate in the soil and living organisms, polluting the environment and causing serious health hazards in humans. Therefore, effective treatment of heavy metal ions in aqueous media is critical for public health and environmental sustainability. In this paper, we employ molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the removal efficiency of heavy metal cations (Cd2+, Hg2+, and Pb2+) by a zirconium phosphonate based metal–organic framework (MOF) filter and also to explore its underlying molecular mechanism. Our results show that the inherently porous MOF filter shows a superior efficiency (>95%) in the removal of heavy metal cations under a wide range of pressures (50 to 350 MPa). This superior efficiency is achieved by absorption and blockage of these cations within MOF filters via two distinct binding patterns, “loose mode” with water molecules as a mediator, and ‘‘tight mode’’ without any mediating molecules. These findings provide new insight for applying the MOF nanopores as potential filters in the removal of hazardous heavy metal cations in the environment.

Graphical abstract: Metal–organic framework as an efficient filter for the removal of heavy metal cations in water

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Aug 2018, accepted on 14 Nov 2018 and first published on 19 Nov 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8CP05129A
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, Advance Article
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    Metal–organic framework as an efficient filter for the removal of heavy metal cations in water

    Z. Gu, W. Song, Z. Yang and R. Zhou, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8CP05129A

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