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Open AccessArticle

Amine Modification of Silica Aerogels/Xerogels for Removal of Relevant Environmental Pollutants

1
CIEPQPF, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Coimbra, 3030-790 Coimbra, Portugal
2
CICECO—Aveiro Institute of Materials, Department of Materials and Ceramic Engineering, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
3
CQC, Department of Chemistry, University of Coimbra, 3004-535 Coimbra, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Carlos A. García-González
Molecules 2019, 24(20), 3701; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24203701
Received: 30 August 2019 / Revised: 8 October 2019 / Accepted: 13 October 2019 / Published: 15 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering of Aerogels and Their Applications)
Serious environmental and health problems arise from the everyday release of industrial wastewater effluents. A wide range of pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds, heavy metals or textile dyes, may be efficiently removed by silica materials advanced solutions such as aerogels. This option is related to their exceptional characteristics that favors the adsorption of different contaminants. The aerogels performance can be selectively tuned by an appropriate chemical or physical modification of the aerogel’s surface. Therefore, the introduction of amine groups enhances the affinity between different organic and inorganic contaminants and the silica aerogels. In this work, different case studies are reported to investigate and better understand the role of these functional groups in the adsorption process, since the properties of the synthesized aerogels were significantly affected, regarding their microstructure and surface area. In general, an improvement of the removal efficiency after functionalization of aerogels with amine groups was found, with removal efficiencies higher than 90% for lead and Rubi Levafix CA. To explain the adsorption mechanism, both Langmuir and Freundlich models were applied; chemisorption is most likely the sorption type taking place in the studied cases. View Full-Text
Keywords: silica aerogels; amine modification; volatile organic compounds; heavy metals; textile dyes; adsorption silica aerogels; amine modification; volatile organic compounds; heavy metals; textile dyes; adsorption
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lamy-Mendes, A.; Torres, R.B.; Vareda, J.P.; Lopes, D.; Ferreira, M.; Valente, V.; Girão, A.V.; Valente, A.J.M.; Durães, L. Amine Modification of Silica Aerogels/Xerogels for Removal of Relevant Environmental Pollutants. Molecules 2019, 24, 3701.

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