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Macrosurfactant-mediated, aminopolycarboxy-acid-decorated open-cellular adsorbent for removing metal micropollutants from water

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Abstract

Aminopolycarboxy acids (APAs) are well known for their ultrastong affinity for heavy metals. Their monolayer, full-coverage, robust and one-step decoration of the surface of a macroporous adsorbent has not yet been realized. In the current work, we derived a cost-effective strategy to produce a porous adsorbent with the aid of a dendritic macrosurfactant. Branched polyethylenimine (PEI) was partly alkylated with glycidyl cetylether (C16) to form a dendritic polyamine macrosurfactant (PEI@C16, Mn ∼ 104). This macrosurfactant well stabilized a water-in-oil high internal phase emulsion (HIPE), while a macrosurfactant counterpart based on linear PEI did so poorly. Heating the HIPE system triggered a simultaneous transformation of the residual amines of PEI@C16 into APAs and of the oil phase (consisting of styrene, divinylbenzene and radical initiator) into an open-cellular solid matrix. The resulting open-cellular monolith showed a rather large specific surface area and very high affinity for various heavy metal ions in water. The adsorption of Pb(II) was indicated to follow a chemical and monolayer adsorption mechanism. The adsorbent showed good recyclability, due to the robustly anchored APAs.

Graphical abstract: Macrosurfactant-mediated, aminopolycarboxy-acid-decorated open-cellular adsorbent for removing metal micropollutants from water

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Article information


Submitted
05 Dec 2019
Accepted
23 Jan 2020
First published
28 Jan 2020

Mater. Chem. Front., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Research Article

Macrosurfactant-mediated, aminopolycarboxy-acid-decorated open-cellular adsorbent for removing metal micropollutants from water

S. Weng, M. Jin and D. Wan, Mater. Chem. Front., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9QM00736A

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