Gels for Water Treatment

A special issue of Gels (ISSN 2310-2861). This special issue belongs to the section "Gel Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 5336

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
National Research & Development Institute for Chemistry and Petrochemistry - ICECHIM Bucharest, 060021 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: polymer synthesis; modification; processing and characterization; especially molecularly imprinted polymers; hydrogels; inorganic–organic nanocomposites; membranes; polyurethanes and polymer recycling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Advanced Polymer Materials and Polymer Recycling Group - The National Institute for Research & Development in Chemistry and Petrochemistry ICECHIM, 060021 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: polymer hybrid inorganic–organic nanocomposites; biocompatible hydrogels; polymer membranes; nanomaterials; ceramic materials; molecularly imprinted polymers

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Advanced Polymer Materials and Polymer Recycling Group - The National Institute for Research and Development in Chemistry and Petrochemistry ICECHIM, 060021 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: (i) synthesis and characterization of hydrogels with medical and agricultural applications; (ii) synthesis and characterization of bioinspired nanogels as ligand-free targeted delivery systems obtained with the use of molecular imprinting techniques; (iii) synthesis and characterization of interpenetrating polymer networks based on natural and synthetic polymers; (iv) synthesis and characterization of nanohybrid materials based on functionalization/tailoring of inorganic particles
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water is one of the most important resources of our planet because it is a primordial factor of life, and in particular, of human life. However, this very precious source is in great danger especially because of anthropic activity, such as industry, agriculture and transport. Unfortunately, conventional methods of water treatments are challenging tasks for the removal of emerging contaminants. Therefore, new advanced techniques and materials have been developed to prevent, assess and fight water pollution.

Among these materials, an increasing role plays gels: hydrogels, aerogels, oleogels, composite gels, nano-hybrid gels, etc. The scientific research dedicated to this modern direction is growing quickly and the results are expected to find soon a commercial scale. The application of these new materials refers mostly to the purification of drinking water, the retaining of pollutants from complex matrices such as wastewaters, analysis and sensing, but other applications are studied as well, such as catalysis and biocatalysis or slow release of some active substances, explaining the need for this Special Issue of Gels. Thus, this Special Issue is aimed to publish original research articles and recent review papers that can provide innovative insight and improve our knowledge of the most recent approaches regarding the development of new gels for water treatment in order to enhance the current methods or develop new advanced materials.

Prof. Dr. Andrei Sarbu
Prof. Dr. Anita-Laura Chiriac
Dr. Anamaria Zaharia
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Gels is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • gels
  • nano-hybrid gels
  • water treatments
  • emerging contaminants
  • water remediations
  • innovative techniques

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 4056 KiB  
Article
Chitosan–Silica Composite Aerogel for the Adsorption of Cupric Ions
by João P. Vareda, Pedro M. C. Matias, José A. Paixão, Dina Murtinho, Artur J. M. Valente and Luisa Durães
Gels 2024, 10(3), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels10030192 - 11 Mar 2024
Viewed by 828
Abstract
A chitosan–silica hybrid aerogel was synthesized and presented as a potential adsorbent for the purification of cupric ion-contaminated media. The combination of the organic polymer (chitosan), which can be obtained from fishery wastes, with silica produced a mostly macroporous material with an average [...] Read more.
A chitosan–silica hybrid aerogel was synthesized and presented as a potential adsorbent for the purification of cupric ion-contaminated media. The combination of the organic polymer (chitosan), which can be obtained from fishery wastes, with silica produced a mostly macroporous material with an average pore diameter of 33 µm. The obtained aerogel was extremely light (56 kg m−3), porous (96% porosity, 17 cm3 g−1 pore volume), and presented a Brunauer–Emmett–Teller surface area (SBET) of 2.05 m2 g−1. The effects of solution pH, aerogel and Cu(II) concentration, contact time, and counterion on cupric removal with the aerogel were studied. Results showed that the initial pH of the cation-containing aqueous solution had very little influence on the removal performance of this aerogel. According to Langmuir isotherm, this material can remove a maximum amount of ca. 40 mg of cupric ions per gram and the kinetic data showed that the surface reaction was the rate-limiting step and equilibrium was quickly reached (in less than one hour). Thus, the approach developed in this study enabled the recovery of waste for the preparation of a novel material, which can be efficiently reused in a new application, namely water remediation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels for Water Treatment)
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19 pages, 6604 KiB  
Article
Dual-Responsive Hydrogels for Mercury Ion Detection and Removal from Wastewater
by Aurel Diacon, Florin Albota, Alexandra Mocanu, Oana Brincoveanu, Alice Ionela Podaru, Traian Rotariu, Ahmad A. Ahmad, Edina Rusen and Gabriela Toader
Gels 2024, 10(2), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels10020113 - 01 Feb 2024
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Abstract
This study describes the development of a fast and cost-effective method for the detection and removal of Hg2+ ions from aqueous media, consisting of hydrogels incorporating chelating agents and a rhodamine derivative (to afford a qualitative evaluation of the heavy metal entrapment [...] Read more.
This study describes the development of a fast and cost-effective method for the detection and removal of Hg2+ ions from aqueous media, consisting of hydrogels incorporating chelating agents and a rhodamine derivative (to afford a qualitative evaluation of the heavy metal entrapment inside the 3D polymeric matrix). These hydrogels, designed for the simultaneous detection and entrapment of mercury, were obtained through the photopolymerization of 2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid (AMPSA) and N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone (NVP), utilizing N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide (MBA) as crosslinker, in the presence of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), a rhodamine B derivative, and one of the following chelating agents: phytic acid, 1,3-diamino-2-hydroxypropane-tetraacetic acid, triethylenetetramine-hexaacetic acid, or ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid disodium salt. The rhodamine derivative had a dual purpose in this study: firstly, it was incorporated into the hydrogel to allow the qualitative evaluation of mercury entrapment through its fluorogenic switch-off abilities when sensing Hg2+ ions; secondly, it was used to quantitatively evaluate the level of residual mercury from the decontaminated aqueous solutions, via the UV-Vis technique. The ICP-MS analysis of the hydrogels also confirmed the successful entrapment of mercury inside the hydrogels and a good correlation with the UV-Vis method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels for Water Treatment)
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18 pages, 3164 KiB  
Article
Activated Carbon-Incorporated Tragacanth Gum Hydrogel Biocomposite: A Promising Adsorbent for Crystal Violet Dye Removal from Aqueous Solutions
by Badr M. Thamer, Faiz A. Al-aizari and Hany S. Abdo
Gels 2023, 9(12), 959; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9120959 - 07 Dec 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1050
Abstract
Biomaterials-based adsorbents have emerged as a sustainable and promising solution for water purification, owing to their eco-friendly nature and remarkable adsorption capacities. In this study, a biocomposite hydrogel was prepared by the incorporation of activated carbon derived from pomegranate peels (PPAC) in tragacanth [...] Read more.
Biomaterials-based adsorbents have emerged as a sustainable and promising solution for water purification, owing to their eco-friendly nature and remarkable adsorption capacities. In this study, a biocomposite hydrogel was prepared by the incorporation of activated carbon derived from pomegranate peels (PPAC) in tragacanth gum (TG). The hydrogel biocomposite (PPAC/TG) showed a porous structure, a negative surface charge at a pH of more than 4.9, and good stability in aqueous media. The adsorption properties of the PPAC/TG hydrogel biocomposite were assessed for the removal of crystal violet dye (CV) from aqueous solutions using a batch adsorption. The equilibrium adsorption data followed the Sips isotherm model, as supported by the calculated R2 (>0.99), r-χ2 (<64), and standard error values (<16). According to the Sips model, the maximum values of the adsorption capacity of PPAC/TG were 455.61, 470.86, and 477.37 mg/g at temperatures of 25, 30, and 35 °C, respectively. The adsorption kinetic of CV onto the PPAC/TG hydrogel biocomposite was well described by the pseudo-second-order model with R2 values more than 0.999 and r-χ2 values less than 12. Thermodynamic studies confirmed that the CV dye adsorption was spontaneous and endothermic. Furthermore, the prepared hydrogel exhibited excellent reusability, retaining its adsorption capacity even after being used more than five times. Overall, this study concludes that the prepared PPAC/TG exhibited a significant adsorption capacity for cationic dyes, indicating its potential as an effective and eco-friendly adsorbent for water treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels for Water Treatment)
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12 pages, 3303 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Prickly Pear Fruit Peel Mucilage in Form of Gel as a Green Coagulant for the Tertiary Treatment of Domestic Wastewater
by María Carolina Otálora, Andrea Wilches-Torres, Carlos Rafael Lara, Jaime Díaz-Gómez, Jovanny A. Gómez Castaño and Gabriel Ricardo Cifuentes
Gels 2023, 9(9), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9090723 - 06 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1323
Abstract
The application of natural coagulants derived from food byproducts in domestic wastewater tertiary treatment, which contains a number of impurities as suspended colloidal particles, has a potential use as essential substitutes for traditional inorganic coagulants. These biomaterials are a sustainable and environmentally friendly [...] Read more.
The application of natural coagulants derived from food byproducts in domestic wastewater tertiary treatment, which contains a number of impurities as suspended colloidal particles, has a potential use as essential substitutes for traditional inorganic coagulants. These biomaterials are a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative that can be used to improve water quality and human health. In this study, prickly pear (PP) fruit peel mucilage gel was evaluated as a novel coagulant for the tertiary stage of domestic wastewater treatment. Jar tests were performed on residual raw water at the inlet (influent) and outlet (effluent) of the tertiary wastewater treatment (constructed wetland) with a coagulant dose of 12 mg L−1 at a pH of 13. The efficiency of green (i.e., mucilage) and inorganic chemical (i.e., FeCl3) coagulants was compared on the basis of turbidity and color removal. The flocs produced by the coagulants were characterized structurally by FTIR spectroscopy and Zeta potential analysis and morphologically by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results showed that the turbidity and the color removal efficiency of the mucilage compared to the FeCl3 at the outlet of the treatment (effluent) were practically the same, reaching 94% turbidity and 85–87% color removal efficiency with both coagulants. The structure and morphology of the flocs generated by the coagulants showed a higher content of organic matter trapped in the flocs. The floc formation observed mechanisms were adsorption/bridging for mucilage and charge neutralization for FeCl3. The results of this study demonstrated that the PP mucilage green coagulant can be used to enhance the quality of treatment of domestic wastewater in an eco-friendly and biodegradable manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels for Water Treatment)
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Review

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31 pages, 8287 KiB  
Review
Natural Polysaccharide-Based Hydrogels Used for Dye Removal
by Magdalena-Cristina Stanciu and Carmen-Alice Teacă
Gels 2024, 10(4), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels10040243 - 02 Apr 2024
Viewed by 724
Abstract
Removal of contaminants from discharge water is vital and demands urgent assistance with the goal to keep clean water. Adsorption is one of the most common, efficient, and low-priced methods used in water treatment. Various polysaccharide-based gels have been used as efficient dye [...] Read more.
Removal of contaminants from discharge water is vital and demands urgent assistance with the goal to keep clean water. Adsorption is one of the most common, efficient, and low-priced methods used in water treatment. Various polysaccharide-based gels have been used as efficient dye adsorbents from wastewater. This review summarizes cutting-edge research of the last decade of different hydrogels based on natural polysaccharides (chitin, chitosan, cellulose, starch, pullulan, and dextran) concerning their dye adsorption efficiency. Beyond their natural abundance, attributes of polysaccharides such as biocompatibility, biodegradability, and low cost make them not only efficient, but also environmentally sustainable candidates for water purification. The synthesis and dye removal performance together with the effect of diverse factors on gels retaining ability, kinetic, and isotherm models encountered in adsorption studies, are introduced. Thermodynamic parameters, sorbent recycling capacity along with conclusions and future prospects are also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels for Water Treatment)
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