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Innovative Adsorbents for Pollutant Removal: An Overview of Current Research

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Macromolecular Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2024 | Viewed by 18161

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Laboratoire Chrono-Environnement, UMR 6249, UFR Sciences et Techniques, Université de Franche-Comté, 16 route de Gray, 25000 Besançon, France
Interests: water pollution; environmental analysis; water purification technologies; wastewater engineering; adsorption processes; polysaccharides; cyclodextrins; bioassays
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Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal
Interests: occurrence and distribution of multi-class organic micropollutants in water/wastewater; analytical tools for determination of organic micropollutants; identification of by-products; advanced oxidation processes: membrane technologies
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PROTMED Research Centre, Department of Systems Ecology and Sustainability, University of Bucharest, Spl. Independentei 91-95, 050095 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: advanced oxidation processes; adsorption processes; ion-exchange; hydrodechlorination; emerging pollutants
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Laboratorio de Ambiental, Facultad de Ingeniería Culiacán, Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, Ciudad Universitaria, Culiacán, Sinaloa P.O. Box 80013, Mexico
Interests: synthesis and characterization of polymers; controlled drug delivery; polymeric carriers; water remediation; flocculants and adsorbents; chitosan; stimuli-responsive polymers
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Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan, 110 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5C9, Canada
Interests: polymers; host–guest chemistry; hydration effects; adsorption phenomena; molecular recognition
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, many innovative non-conventional adsorbents based on molecular or macromolecular architectures, of natural or synthetic origin, have been proposed to remove environmental pollutants from water and wastewater via liquid–solid adsorption processes.

These materials are intended to be chemically more efficient, economically viable, simple to use and regenerate, easy to set up on an industrial site, and more environmentally friendly, while trying to fit in with the principles of green chemistry and the circular economy.

The list of adsorbents is particularly vast, including, for example, nanocellulose, cellulose-based hydrogels, cyclodextrin polymers, lignocellulosic resources and organic wastes from agricultural, forestry and pulp industry wastes, lignin-based adsorbents, chitosan-based nanocomposites, calixarene-based polymers, super-chalcogens, molecularly imprinted polymers, modified zeolites, mesoporous silicas, modified pillared clays, hydroxyapatite nanoparticles, magnetic layered double hydroxides, metal oxide composites, iron-based hybrid nanomaterials, iron-rich red mud, metal–organic frameworks, geopolymers (inorganic polymers), biochar composites, graphene-based composites, novel structured carbon-based materials, carbon nanotubes, carbonaceous waste from oil refineries, carbon-based aerogels from waste paper, 3D graphene-based adsorbents, carbon xerogels, synthetic hydrogels, ionic-liquid enhanced adsorbents, industrial sludge, adsorbents from stainless steel slag, or plant biomass.

The objective of this Special Issue on “Innovative Adsorbents for Pollutant Removal: An Overview of Current Research” is to review the state of the art and divulge the latest results obtained in the field of non-conventional adsorbents used to remove environmental pollutants such as metals, including rare earth elements, radionucleides and metalloids, fluorides, dyes, pesticides, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, hormones, synthetic cosmetics ingredients, disinfectants, UV filters, alkylphenols and other surfactants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, plastic nanoparticles, and so on.

We invite colleagues to contribute with original research papers and critical reviews addressing recent progresses on all aspects of innovative adsorbents for removal of water pollutants.

Dr. Grégorio Crini
Dr. Ana Rita Lado Ribeiro
Dr. Corina Bradu
Dr. Lorenzo A. Picos Corrales
Prof. Dr. Lee D. Wilson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2700 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

  • Adsorption
  • Agricultural wastes
  • Biomass
  • Biosorption
  • Cosmetics
  • Cyclodextrins polymers
  • Dyes
  • Emerging pollutants
  • Fluorides
  • Forestry residues
  • Hybrid nanomaterials
  • Ionic liquids
  • Metal–organic frameworks
  • Metalloids
  • Metals
  • Microencapsulation
  • Molecular recognition
  • Molecularly imprinted polymers
  • Nanofibers
  • Nanosponges
  • Nanotubes
  • Non-conventional adsorbents
  • Organic contaminants
  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances
  • Personal care products
  • Pesticides
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Polysaccharides
  • Radionuclides
  • Rare earth elements
  • Stimuli-responsive polymers
  • Supramolecular chemistry
  • Wastewater treatment

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 3899 KiB  
Article
Reduced Chitosan as a Strategy for Removing Copper Ions from Water
by Pedro M. C. Matias, Joana F. M. Sousa, Eva F. Bernardino, João P. Vareda, Luisa Durães, Paulo E. Abreu, Jorge M. C. Marques, Dina Murtinho and Artur J. M. Valente
Molecules 2023, 28(10), 4110; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28104110 - 16 May 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1442
Abstract
Toxic heavy metals are priority pollutants in wastewater, commonly present in dangerous concentrations in many places across the globe. Although in trace quantities copper is a heavy metal essential to human life, in excess it causes various diseases, whereby its removal from wastewater [...] Read more.
Toxic heavy metals are priority pollutants in wastewater, commonly present in dangerous concentrations in many places across the globe. Although in trace quantities copper is a heavy metal essential to human life, in excess it causes various diseases, whereby its removal from wastewater is a necessity. Among several reported materials, chitosan is a highly abundant, non-toxic, low-cost, biodegradable polymer, comprising free hydroxyl and amino groups, that has been directly applied as an adsorbent or chemically modified to increase its performance. Taking this into account, reduced chitosan derivatives (RCDs 1–4) were synthesised by chitosan modification with salicylaldehyde, followed by imine reduction, characterised by RMN, FTIR-ATR, TGA and SEM, and used to adsorb Cu(II) from water. A reduced chitosan (RCD3), with a moderate modification percentage (43%) and a high imine reduction percentage (98%), proved to be more efficient than the remainder RCDs and even chitosan, especially at low concentrations under the best adsorption conditions (pH 4, RS/L = 2.5 mg mL−1). RCD3 adsorption data were better described by the Langmuir–Freundlich isotherm and the pseudo-second-order kinetic models. The interaction mechanism was assessed by molecular dynamics simulations, showing that RCDs favour Cu(II) capture from water compared to chitosan, due to a greater Cu(II) interaction with the oxygen of the glucosamine ring and the neighbouring hydroxyl groups. Full article
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12 pages, 36960 KiB  
Article
Temperature Responsive Polymer Conjugate Prepared by “Grafting from” Proteins toward the Adsorption and Removal of Uremic Toxin
by Erika Yoshihara, Makoto Sasaki, Ahmed Nabil, Michihiro Iijima and Mitsuhiro Ebara
Molecules 2022, 27(3), 1051; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27031051 - 3 Feb 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2687
Abstract
In this study, temperature-responsive polymer-protein conjugate was synthesized using a “grafting from” concept by introducing a chain transfer agent (CTA) into bovine serum albumin (BSA). The BSA-CTA was used as a starting point for poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) through reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer [...] Read more.
In this study, temperature-responsive polymer-protein conjugate was synthesized using a “grafting from” concept by introducing a chain transfer agent (CTA) into bovine serum albumin (BSA). The BSA-CTA was used as a starting point for poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) through reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization. The research investigations suggest that the thermally responsive behavior of PNIPAAm was controlled by the monomer ratio to CTA, as well as the amount of CTA introduced to BSA. The study further synthesized the human serum albumin (HSA)-PNIPAAm conjugate, taking the advantage that HSA can specifically adsorb indoxyl sulfate (IS) as a uremic toxin. The HSA-PNIPAAm conjugate could capture IS and decreased the concentration by about 40% by thermal precipitation. It was also revealed that the protein activity was not impaired by the conjugation with PNIPAAm. The proposed strategy is promising in not only removal of uremic toxins but also enrichment of biomarkers for early diagnostic applications. Full article
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19 pages, 5024 KiB  
Article
Use of Chènevotte, a Valuable Co-Product of Industrial Hemp Fiber, as Adsorbent for Pollutant Removal. Part I: Chemical, Microscopic, Spectroscopic and Thermogravimetric Characterization of Raw and Modified Samples
by Chiara Mongioví, Dario Lacalamita, Nadia Morin-Crini, Xavier Gabrion, Aleksandra Ivanovska, Federico Sala, Vincent Placet, Vito Rizzi, Jennifer Gubitosa, Ernesto Mesto, Ana Rita Lado Ribeiro, Paola Fini, Nicoletta De Vietro, Emanuela Schingaro, Mirjana Kostić, Cesare Cosentino, Pinalysa Cosma, Corina Bradu, Gilles Chanet and Grégorio Crini
Molecules 2021, 26(15), 4574; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26154574 - 28 Jul 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2595
Abstract
FINEAU (2021–2024) is a trans-disciplinary research project involving French, Serbian, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian colleagues, a French agricultural cooperative and two surface-treatment industries, intending to propose chènevotte, a co-product of the hemp industry, as an adsorbent for the removal of pollutants from polycontaminated [...] Read more.
FINEAU (2021–2024) is a trans-disciplinary research project involving French, Serbian, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian colleagues, a French agricultural cooperative and two surface-treatment industries, intending to propose chènevotte, a co-product of the hemp industry, as an adsorbent for the removal of pollutants from polycontaminated wastewater. The first objective of FINEAU was to prepare and characterize chènevotte-based materials. In this study, the impact of water washing and treatments (KOH, Na2CO3 and H3PO4) on the composition and structure of chènevotte (also called hemp shives) was evaluated using chemical analysis, X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy, X-ray computed nanotomography (nano-CT), attenuated total reflectance–Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy, solid state NMR spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis. The results showed that all these techniques are complementary and useful to characterize the structure and morphology of the samples. Before any chemical treatment, the presence of impurities with a compact unfibrillated structure on the surfaces of chènevotte samples was found. Data indicated an increase in the crystallinity index and significant changes in the chemical composition of each sample after treatment as well as in surface morphology and roughness. The most significant changes were observed in alkaline-treated samples, especially those treated with KOH. Full article
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Review

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21 pages, 2611 KiB  
Review
An Overview of Modified Chitosan Adsorbents for the Removal of Precious Metals Species from Aqueous Media
by Dexu Kong, Stephen R. Foley and Lee D. Wilson
Molecules 2022, 27(3), 978; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27030978 - 1 Feb 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3379
Abstract
This mini-review provides coverage of chitosan-based adsorbents and their modified forms as sustainable solid-phase extraction (SPE) materials for precious metal ions, such as gold species, and their complexes in aqueous media. Modified forms of chitosan-based adsorbents range from surface-functionalized systems to biomaterial composites [...] Read more.
This mini-review provides coverage of chitosan-based adsorbents and their modified forms as sustainable solid-phase extraction (SPE) materials for precious metal ions, such as gold species, and their complexes in aqueous media. Modified forms of chitosan-based adsorbents range from surface-functionalized systems to biomaterial composites that contain inorganic or other nanomaterial components. An overview of the SPE conditions such as pH, temperature, contact time, and adsorbent dosage was carried out to outline how these factors affect the efficiency of the sorption process, with an emphasis on gold species. This review provides insight into the structure-property relationships for chitinaceous adsorbents and their metal-ion removal mechanism in aqueous media. Cross-linked chitosan sorbents showed a maximum for Au(III) uptake capacity (600 mg/g), while S-containing cross-linked chitosan display favourable selectivity and uptake capacity with Au(III) species. Compared to industrial adsorbents such as activated carbon, modified chitosan sorbents display favourable uptake of Au(III) species, especially in aqueous media at low pH. In turn, this contribution is intended to catalyze further research directed at the rational design of tailored SPE materials that employ biopolymer scaffolds to yield improved uptake properties of precious metal species in aqueous systems. The controlled removal of gold and precious metal species from aqueous media is highly relevant to sustainable industrial processes and environmental remediation. Full article
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31 pages, 2807 KiB  
Review
Recent Improvement Strategies on Metal-Organic Frameworks as Adsorbent, Catalyst, and Membrane for Wastewater Treatment
by Arie Wibowo, Maradhana A. Marsudi, Edi Pramono, Jeremiah Belva, Ade W. Y. P. Parmita, Aep Patah, Diana Rakhmawaty Eddy, Akfiny Hasdi Aimon and Aditianto Ramelan
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5261; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175261 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 5647
Abstract
The accumulation of pollutants in water is dangerous for the environment and human lives. Some of them are considered as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that cannot be eliminated from wastewater effluent. Thus, many researchers have devoted their efforts to improving the existing technology [...] Read more.
The accumulation of pollutants in water is dangerous for the environment and human lives. Some of them are considered as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that cannot be eliminated from wastewater effluent. Thus, many researchers have devoted their efforts to improving the existing technology or providing an alternative strategy to solve this environmental problem. One of the attractive materials for this purpose are metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) due to their superior high surface area, high porosity, and the tunable features of their structures and function. This review provides an up-to-date and comprehensive description of MOFs and their crucial role as adsorbent, catalyst, and membrane in wastewater treatment. This study also highlighted several strategies to improve their capability to remove pollutants from water effluent. Full article
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