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Nowadays heavy metals are among the higher environmental priority pollutants, therefore, the identification of new, effective, reusable and easy-to-handle adsorbent materials able to remove metal ions from water is highly desired. To this aim, in this work for the first time, sulfonated pentablock copolymer (s-PBC, Nexar™) membranes and s-PBC/graphene oxide (GO) nanocomposite membranes were investigated for the removal of heavy metals from water. Membranes were prepared by drop casting and their chemical, structural and morphological properties were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The adsorption abilities and adsorption kinetics of both the polymer and the s-PBC/GO nanocomposite were investigated for the removal of different heavy metal ions (Ni 2+, Co 2+, Cr 3+ and Pb 2+) from aqueous solutions containing the corresponding metal salts at different concentrations. The investigated s-PBC membrane shows a good efficiency, due to the presence of sulfonic groups that play a fundamental role in the adsorption process of metal ions. Its performance is further enhanced by embedding a very low amount of GO in the polymer allowing an increase by at least three times of the adsorption efficiencies of the polymer itself. This can be ascribed to the higher porosity, higher roughness and higher lamellar distances introduced by GO in the s-PBC membrane, as evidenced by the SEM and SAXS analysis. Both the polymeric materials showed the best performance in removing Pb 2+ ions …
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Publication date: 
1 Jun 2020

Simona Filice, Marta Mazurkiewicz-Pawlicka, Artur Malolepszy, Leszek Stobinski, Ryszard Kwiatkowski, Anna Boczkowska, Leon Gradon, Silvia Scalese

Biblio References: 
Volume: 10 Issue: 6 Pages: 1157