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Cube sugar-like sponge/polymer brush composites for portable and user-friendly heavy metal ion adsorbents

Bae, Ji Young, Lee, Ha-Jin, Choi, Won San
Journal of hazardous materials 2016 v.320 pp. 133-142
adsorbents, adsorption, drinking water, glass, heavy metals, metal ions, molecular weight, polyacrylamide, polyacrylic acid, polyethyleneimine, polymerization, wastewater
Portable, non-toxic, and user-friendly sponge composites decorated with polyelectrolyte (PE) brushes were developed for the fast and efficient removal of heavy metal ions from waste water or drinking water. The polyacrylamide (PAM) and polyacrylic acid (PAA) brushes were grafted onto the sponge via ⿿grafting-from⿿ polymerization. For the polyethyleneimine (PEI) brush, ⿿grafting-to⿿ polymerization was used. A polydopamine (Pdop) layer was first coated on the sponge. Then, PEI was grafted onto the Pdop-coated sponge via a Michael addition reaction. The PEI-grafted sponge exhibited the best adsorption capacity and the fastest reaction rate of all the brushes due to the numerous adsorption sites of the PEI. The adsorption performance of two different PEI-grafted sponges depended on the molecular weight (MW) of the PEI. Simply by being dipped into a glass of water, non-toxic PEI-grafted sponge instantly removed the low concentration heavy metal ions, demonstrating a practical application for individual users.