Contribution of Cross-Linker and Silica Morphology on Cr(VI) Sorption Performances of Organic Anion Exchangers Embedded into Silica Pores.Molecules. 2020 Mar 10; 25(5)M
Removal of Cr(VI) from the environment represents a stringent issue because of its tremendous effects on living organisms. In this context, design of sorbents with high sorption capacity for Cr(VI) is getting a strong need. For this purpose, poly(vinylbenzyl chloride), impregnated into porous silica (PSi), was cross-linked with either N,N,N',N'-tetramethyl-1,2-ethylenediamine (TEMED) or N,N,N',N'-tetramethyl-1,3-propanediamine, followed by the reaction of the free -CH2Cl groups with N,N-diethyl-2-hydroxyethylamine to generate strong base anion exchangers (ANEX) inside the pores. The PSi/ANEX composite sorbents were deeply characterized by FTIR spectroscopy, SEM-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and water uptake. The sorption performances of composites against Cr(VI) were investigated as a function of pH, contact time, initial concentration of Cr(VI), and temperature. It was found that the cross-linker structure and the silica morphology are the key factors controlling the sorption capacity. The adsorption process was spontaneous and endothermic and well described by pseudo-second-order kinetic and Sips isotherm models. The maximum sorption capacity of 311.2 mg Cr(VI)/g sorbent was found for the composite prepared with mesoporous silica using TEMED as cross-linker. The PSi/ANEX composite sorbents represent an excellent alternative for the removal of Cr(VI) oxyanions, being endowed with fast kinetics, equilibrium in about 60 min, and a high level of reusability in successive sorption/desorption cycles.