Silica based inorganic–organic hybrid materials for the adsorptive removal of chromium
We employed polymer functionalized silica gel as an adsorbent for the removal of Cr(VI) from water. The chains of 2-aminoethyl methacrylate hydrochloride (AEMA·HCl) polymer were grown from the surface of silica gel via surface-initiated conventional radical polymerization and the resulting hybrid material exhibited high affinity for chromium(VI). To investigate the adsorption behavior of Cr(VI) on diverse polymer based hybrid materials, the removal capacity of (SG-AEMH) was compared with our previously reported branched polyamine functionalized mesoporous silica (MS-PEI). The adsorption capacities of polymer based materials were also compared with their respective monolayer based platforms comprising a 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) functionalized silica gel (SG-APTES) and mesoporous silica (MS-APTES). The polymer based systems showed excellent Cr(VI) adsorption efficiencies compared to monolayer counterparts. The structural characteristics and surface modification of these adsorbents were examined by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The experimental data were analyzed using the Langmuir and Freundlich models. Correlation coefficients were determined by analyzing each isotherm. The kinetic data of adsorption reactions were described by pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order equations. Thermodynamic parameters, i.e., change in the free energy (ΔG°), the enthalpy (ΔH°), and the entropy (ΔS°), were also evaluated. The synthesized hybrid materials exhibited a high adsorption capacity for chromium ions. Furthermore, they could be regenerated and recycled effectively.