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Article

Rational Design of an Ion-Imprinted Polymer for Aqueous Methylmercury Sorption

1
Laboratory of Physical Chemistry Research, Faculty of Sciences, National University of Engineering, Lima 15333, Peru
2
Institute of Chemistry, State University of São Paulo (UNESP), Araraquara, SP 14800-060, Brazil
3
National Institute for Alternative Technologies of Detection, Toxicological Evaluation and Removal of Micropollutants and Radioactives (INCT-DATREM), Araraquara, SP 14800-060, Brazil
4
Department of Analytical Chemistry, Fluminense Federal University (UFF), Niterói, RJ 24020-150, Brazil
5
Institute of Food Technology (ITAL), Campinas, SP 13070-178, Brazil
6
Institute of Chemistry, University of São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, SP 05508-000, Brazil
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(12), 2541; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10122541
Received: 28 October 2020 / Revised: 16 November 2020 / Accepted: 23 November 2020 / Published: 17 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Carbon Nanomaterials in Biological Detection)
Methylmercury (MeHg+) is a mercury species that is very toxic for humans, and its monitoring and sorption from environmental samples of water are a public health concern. In this work, a combination of theory and experiment was used to rationally synthesize an ion-imprinted polymer (IIP) with the aim of the extraction of MeHg+ from samples of water. Interactions among MeHg+ and possible reaction components in the pre-polymerization stage were studied by computational simulation using density functional theory. Accordingly, 2-mercaptobenzimidazole (MBI) and 2-mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT), acrylic acid (AA) and ethanol were predicted as excellent sulfhydryl ligands, a functional monomer and porogenic solvent, respectively. Characterization studies by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) revealed the obtention of porous materials with specific surface areas of 11 m2 g−1 (IIP–MBI–AA) and 5.3 m2 g−1 (IIP–MBT–AA). Under optimized conditions, the maximum adsorption capacities were 157 µg g−1 (for IIP–MBI–AA) and 457 µg g−1 (for IIP–MBT–AA). The IIP–MBT–AA was selected for further experiments and application, and the selectivity coefficients were MeHg+/Hg2+ (0.86), MeHg+/Cd2+ (260), MeHg+/Pb2+ (288) and MeHg+/Zn2+ (1510), highlighting the material’s high affinity for MeHg+. The IIP was successfully applied to the sorption of MeHg+ in river and tap water samples at environmentally relevant concentrations. View Full-Text
Keywords: bulk polymerization; computational modelling; environmental analysis; imprinting technology; mercury detection and removal; ion recognition; ionic imprinting polymers; sample preparation; separation science; water analysis bulk polymerization; computational modelling; environmental analysis; imprinting technology; mercury detection and removal; ion recognition; ionic imprinting polymers; sample preparation; separation science; water analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mesa, R.L.M.; Villa, J.E.L.; Khan, S.; Peixoto, R.R.A.; Morgano, M.A.; Gonçalves, L.M.; Sotomayor, M.D.P.T.; Picasso, G. Rational Design of an Ion-Imprinted Polymer for Aqueous Methylmercury Sorption. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 2541. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10122541

AMA Style

Mesa RLM, Villa JEL, Khan S, Peixoto RRA, Morgano MA, Gonçalves LM, Sotomayor MDPT, Picasso G. Rational Design of an Ion-Imprinted Polymer for Aqueous Methylmercury Sorption. Nanomaterials. 2020; 10(12):2541. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10122541

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mesa, Ruddy L.M., Javier E.L. Villa, Sabir Khan, Rafaella R.A. Peixoto, Marcelo A. Morgano, Luís M. Gonçalves, Maria D.P.T. Sotomayor, and Gino Picasso. 2020. "Rational Design of an Ion-Imprinted Polymer for Aqueous Methylmercury Sorption" Nanomaterials 10, no. 12: 2541. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10122541

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