Macroporous sulfur polymers from a sodium chloride porogen—a low cost, versatile remediation material†
Recent research has demonstrated that it is possible to generate polymers from elemental sulfur and a variety of organic crosslinkers using the so called ‘inverse vulcanisation’ process. The polymerisation is solvent free, self-initiating and has a high atom economy (>90%). A variety of applications have been demonstrated but the most pertinent is the sequestration of heavy metals. Effective sorbents usually possess a degree of porosity, herein we demonstrate the generation of a macroporous thiopolymer matrix and we test it's ability to remove aqueous mercury chloride from solution. It was found that the macroporous polymer possessed a capacity of 2.27 mg g−1 (Langmuir) and a surface area of over 15 m2 g−1.