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Polymers 2017, 9(9), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9090394

CO2-Responsive Graft Modified Chitosan for Heavy Metal (Nickel) Recovery

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada
2
Department of Civil Engineering, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 26 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tailored Polymer Synthesis by Advanced Polymerization Techniques)
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Abstract

Chitosan was chemically functionalized with poly(diethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PDEAEMA) using a grafting to approach to produce a CO2-responsive material for adsorbing metals from wastewater streams. A need for improved economical and greener approaches to recover heavy metals from wastewater streams exists due to increasing resource scarcity. Chitosan is currently used as an adsorbent for heavy metals but suffers from some properties that can be disadvantageous to its effectiveness; it is difficult to effectively disperse in water (which limits available surface area) and to regenerate. We set out to improve its effectiveness by grafting CO2-responsive tertiary amine containing polymers onto the chitosan backbone, with the goals of preparing and assessing a new type of adsorbent based on a novel concept; using carbon dioxide switchable polymers to enhance the performance of chitosan. PDEAEMA chains prepared by nitroxide-mediated polymerization were grafted onto chitosan functionalized with glycidyl methacrylate. In carbonated water, the grafted chitosan displayed improved dispersibility and exhibited a Ni(II) adsorption capacity higher than several other chemically functionalized chitosan variants reported in the literature with the regenerated material having a higher capacity than all physical and chemical derivatives reported in the literature. The results of this study validate the continued development of this material for applications in heavy metal removal and recovery from wastewater streams. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitroxide-mediated polymerization; poly(diethylaminoethyl methacrylate); PDEAEMA; chitosan; grafting; CO2-responsive; CO2-switchable; wastewater; heavy metal nitroxide-mediated polymerization; poly(diethylaminoethyl methacrylate); PDEAEMA; chitosan; grafting; CO2-responsive; CO2-switchable; wastewater; heavy metal
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Madill, E.A.W.; Garcia-Valdez, O.; Champagne, P.; Cunningham, M.F. CO2-Responsive Graft Modified Chitosan for Heavy Metal (Nickel) Recovery. Polymers 2017, 9, 394.

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