Poly-Lipoic Ester-Based Coacervates for the Efficient Removal of Organic Pollutants from Water and Increased Point-of-Use Versatility

Zhao Zhang, Qian Liu, Zhimin Sun, Bailey K. Phillips, Zhenzhen Wang, Mohammed Al-Hashimi, Lei Fang, Mark A. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The increasing frequency with which organic pollutants can be found in global surface water poses a formidable threat to both our environment and its creatures. While the problem has attracted adequate attention, current water treatment tools such as commercially available active carbon still cannot satisfy the remediating necessity due to its unfavorable rate of uptake and high regenerating cost. Moreover, water-insoluble pollutant adsorbents typically suffer from poor processability, effectively decreasing their potential for increased point-of-use versatility. Herein, we report a solution processable poly-lipoic ester-based material that readily undergoes simple coacervation upon ultrasonic solution processing. This material exhibits excellent removal efficiencies (>90%) and material recyclability for the uptake of highly concentrated typical pollutants including a plastic component bisphenol A (BPA), a pharmaceutical residue valsartan, and an industrial dye fluorescein from water. The polymer is conveniently accessible by a solvent-free, thermally initiated disulfide exchange ring-opening polymerization of a lipoic ester derivative and is postfunctionalized with an amphiphilic, π-electron-deficient bipyridinium-based side chain. Solution processing of this material facilitated the development of a pollutant sponge, which operates via a dip-remove-squeeze action, with an adsorption rate constant for BPA ∼85 times greater than its progenitor and achieving 80% removal efficiency in 30 s. This approach is particularly promising for quick point-of-use treatment of wastewater with high chemical oxygen demand. These results highlight the importance for material processability in the development of water-insoluble molecular adsorbents and establish poly-lipoic ester-based materials as contending precursors for application-driven soft matter development.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChemistry of Materials
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Fingerprint

Water Pollutants
Organic pollutants
Esters
Water
Valsartan
Adsorbents
Ring opening polymerization
Chemical oxygen demand
Processing
Fluorescein
Water treatment
Surface waters
Disulfides
Drug products
Rate constants
Polymers
Wastewater
Coloring Agents
Carbon
Dyes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this

Poly-Lipoic Ester-Based Coacervates for the Efficient Removal of Organic Pollutants from Water and Increased Point-of-Use Versatility. / Zhang, Zhao; Liu, Qian; Sun, Zhimin; Phillips, Bailey K.; Wang, Zhenzhen; Al-Hashimi, Mohammed; Fang, Lei; Olson, Mark A.

In: Chemistry of Materials, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zhang, Zhao ; Liu, Qian ; Sun, Zhimin ; Phillips, Bailey K. ; Wang, Zhenzhen ; Al-Hashimi, Mohammed ; Fang, Lei ; Olson, Mark A. / Poly-Lipoic Ester-Based Coacervates for the Efficient Removal of Organic Pollutants from Water and Increased Point-of-Use Versatility. In: Chemistry of Materials. 2019.
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