Polymer Composites for Advanced Water Treatment Applications

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Composites and Nanocomposites".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 10129

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
National Institute for Research & Development in Chemistry and Petrochemistry, ICECHIM, Bucharest, Romania
Interests: composite materials; hybrid structures; advanced water treatment processes
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Guest Editor
Matériaux Polymères Interfaces Environnement Marin, MAPIEM, Université de Toulon, La Garde, France
Interests: hybrid coatings; nanocomposites; hydrogels

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Chemical Process Engineering and Forest Products Research Centre, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Coimbra, 3000-370 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: aerogels; nanoparticles; sol-gel; soft-solution synthesis; functional nanomaterials; environmental remediation; thermal insulation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

The worldwide water demand is becoming an important issue for the increasing population, in which case the scientific communities can respond with more industry-focused solutions in terms of advanced products and processes for water purification, waste water treatment and recycling, and water desalination. Based on technological advances during the last years in water treatment and the variety of composite polymer materials developed recently, this special issue is dedicated to original approaches and/or extremely improved products and processes applicable in water treatment with the focus on inorganic/organic pollutants removal and desalination. Therefore, original papers, reviews, short communications and case studies, on the topic of polymer composites, hybrid polymer and biopolymer structures, and interpenetrated networks applicable in the water treatment field are welcomed. Original applications and/or development of green technologies for water treatment are also encouraged.

Dr. Verona Iordache
Prof. Dr. Francois Xavier Perrin
Prof. Dr. Luísa Durães
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • composite materials
  • hybrid polymers
  • biopolymer structures
  • interpenetrated networks
  • advanced treatment processes
  • water purification
  • water desalination

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 3973 KiB  
Article
Computational Insights on the Chemical Reactivity of Functionalized and Crosslinked Polyketones to Cu2+ Ion for Wastewater Treatment
by Daniela E. Ortega, Diego Cortés-Arriagada and Rodrigo Araya-Hermosilla
Polymers 2023, 15(15), 3157; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15153157 - 25 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1067
Abstract
Today, the high concentrations of copper found in water resources result in an urgent problem to solve since human health and aquatic ecosystems have been affected. Functionalized crosslinked polyketone resins (XLPK) have demonstrated high performance for the uptake of heavy metals in water [...] Read more.
Today, the high concentrations of copper found in water resources result in an urgent problem to solve since human health and aquatic ecosystems have been affected. Functionalized crosslinked polyketone resins (XLPK) have demonstrated high performance for the uptake of heavy metals in water solutions. In addition, its green chemical synthesis makes these resins very attractive as sorbents for metal ions contained in wastewater. XLPK are not soluble in aqueous media and do not require any catalyst, solvent, or harsh conditions to carry out the uptake process. In this paper, a series of functionalized XLPK with pending amino-derivatives namely; butylamine (BA), amino 2-propanol (A2P), 4-(aminomethyl) benzoic acid (HAMC), 6-aminohexanoic acid (PAMBA), and 1,2 diamino propane (DAP) directly attached to the pyrrole backbone of the polymers and crosslinked by di-amine derivatives was investigated using Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations. Our computational analysis revealed that dipole-dipole interactions played a crucial role in enhancing the adsorption of Cu2+ ions onto XLPKs. The negatively charged ketone moieties and functional groups within XLPKs were identified as key adsorption sites for the selective binding of Cu2+ ions. Additionally, we found that XLPKs exhibited strong electrostatic interactions primarily through the –NH2 and –C=O groups. Evaluation of the adsorption energies in XLPK-Cu(II) complexes showed that the DAP-Cu(II) complex exhibited the highest stability, attributed to strong Cu(II)-N binding facilitated by the amino moiety (–NH2). The remaining XLPKs displayed binding modes involving oxygen atoms (Cu(II)-O) within the ketone moieties in the polymer backbone. Furthermore, the complexation and thermochemical analysis emphasized the role of the coordinator atom (N or O) and the coordinating environment, in which higher entropic effects involved in the adsorption of Cu2+ ions onto XLPKs describes a lower spontaneity of the adsorption process. The adsorption reactions were favored at lower temperatures and higher pressures. These findings provide valuable insights into the reactivity and adsorption mechanisms of functionalized and crosslinked polyketones for Cu2+ uptake, facilitating the design of high-performance polymeric resins for water treatment applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites for Advanced Water Treatment Applications)
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14 pages, 4357 KiB  
Article
Preparation and Characterization of di- and Tricarboxylic Acids-Modified Arabinogalactan Plasticized Composite Films
by Yuriy N. Malyar, Valentina S. Borovkova, Alexander S. Kazachenko, Olga Yu. Fetisova, Andrey M. Skripnikov, Valentin V. Sychev and Oxana P. Taran
Polymers 2023, 15(9), 1999; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15091999 - 23 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1979
Abstract
To ensure the high quality of water, it is necessary to remove toxic pollutants. At present, purification of water is implemented using various sorbents. The efficient sorption materials are modified polysaccharides. In this study, we report on a new environmentally friendly method for [...] Read more.
To ensure the high quality of water, it is necessary to remove toxic pollutants. At present, purification of water is implemented using various sorbents. The efficient sorption materials are modified polysaccharides. In this study, we report on a new environmentally friendly method for modifying larch hemicellulose—arabinogalactan (AG)—with polybasic carboxylic acids (citric, succinic, oxalic, and adipic) to obtain composite materials. The synthesized AG derivatives have been explored by a complex of physicochemical methods, including gel permeation chromatography (GPC), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffractometry (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and sorption capacity investigations. It is shown that the heat treatment results in the formation of additional inter- and intramolecular bonds between carboxylic acids and polysaccharide molecules. The formation of ester bonds has been confirmed by the appearance of absorption bands in the IR spectra in the range of 1750–1690 cm−1. It has been found, using the TGA study, that the most thermally stable (up to 190 °C) sample is arabinogalactan oxalate obtained under heat treatment. The SEM study of the synthesized AG films has shown that the modified samples have the homogeneous film surface ensured by cross-linking. It has been established, when studying the sorption properties of the AG derivatives, that AG succinate (82.52%) obtained by lyophilization has the highest sorption capacity, due to the developed mesoporous surface, which, in turn, makes the synthesized films promising eco-friendly materials for use as drug carriers, sorbents, and water treatment agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites for Advanced Water Treatment Applications)
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13 pages, 6709 KiB  
Article
Synthesis of a Polymer Composite Based on a Modified Aminohumic Acid Tuned to a Sorbed Copper Ion
by Alma Khasenovna Zhakina, Zainulla Muldakhmetov, Tatyana Sergeevna Zhivotova, Bibigul Bagdatovna Rakhimova, Yevgeniy Petrovich Vassilets, Oxana Vasilievna Arnt, Arailym Alzhankyzy and Almat Maulenuly Zhakin
Polymers 2023, 15(6), 1346; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15061346 - 8 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1213
Abstract
A composite based on amino-containing humic acid with the immobilization of multi-walled carbon nanotubes preliminarily tuned to a copper ion has been obtained. The synthesis of a composite pre-tuned for sorption by the local arrangement of macromolecular regions was obtained by introducing multi-walled [...] Read more.
A composite based on amino-containing humic acid with the immobilization of multi-walled carbon nanotubes preliminarily tuned to a copper ion has been obtained. The synthesis of a composite pre-tuned for sorption by the local arrangement of macromolecular regions was obtained by introducing multi-walled carbon nanotubes and a molecular template into the composition of humic acid, followed by copolycondensation with acrylic acid amide and formaldehyde. The template was removed from the polymer network by acid hydrolysis. As a result of this tuning, the macromolecules of the composite “remember” conformations that are favorable for sorption, i.e., adsorption centers are formed in the polymer network of the composite, capable of repeated, highly specific interaction with the template and the highly selective extraction of target molecules from the solution. The reaction was controlled by the added amine and by the content of oxygen-containing groups. The structure and composition of the resulting composite were proven by physicochemical methods. A study of the sorption properties of the composite showed that after acid hydrolysis, the capacity increased sharply compared to a similar composite without tuning and a composite before hydrolysis. The resulting composite can be used as a selective sorbent in the process of wastewater treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites for Advanced Water Treatment Applications)
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17 pages, 5406 KiB  
Article
Introducing Semi-Interpenetrating Networks of Chitosan and Ammonium-Quaternary Polymers for the Effective Removal of Waterborne Pathogens from Wastewaters
by Iulia E. Neblea, Anita-L. Chiriac, Anamaria Zaharia, Andrei Sarbu, Mircea Teodorescu, Andreea Miron, Lisa Paruch, Adam M. Paruch, Andreea G. Olaru and Tanta-V. Iordache
Polymers 2023, 15(5), 1091; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15051091 - 22 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1745
Abstract
The present work aims to study the influence of ammonium-quaternary monomers and chitosan, obtained from different sources, upon the effect of semi-interpenetrating polymer network (semi-IPN) hydrogels upon the removal of waterborne pathogens and bacteria from wastewater. To this end, the study was focused [...] Read more.
The present work aims to study the influence of ammonium-quaternary monomers and chitosan, obtained from different sources, upon the effect of semi-interpenetrating polymer network (semi-IPN) hydrogels upon the removal of waterborne pathogens and bacteria from wastewater. To this end, the study was focused on using vinyl benzyl trimethylammonium chloride (VBTAC), a water-soluble monomer with known antibacterial properties, and mineral-enriched chitosan extracted from shrimp shells, to prepare the semi-IPNs. By using chitosan, which still contains the native minerals (mainly calcium carbonate), the study intends to justify that the stability and efficiency of the semi-IPN bactericidal devices can be modified and better improved. The new semi-IPNs were characterized for composition, thermal stability and morphology using well-known methods. Swelling degree (SD%) and the bactericidal effect assessed using molecular methods revealed that hydrogels made of chitosan derived from shrimp shell demonstrated the most competitive and promising potential for wastewater (WW) treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites for Advanced Water Treatment Applications)
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21 pages, 4593 KiB  
Article
Poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone)–Laponite XLG Nanocomposite Hydrogels: Characterization, Properties and Comparison with Divinyl Monomer-Crosslinked Hydrogels
by Ionela Alice Podaru, Paul O. Stănescu, Raluca Ginghină, Ştefania Stoleriu, Bogdan Trică, Raluca Şomoghi and Mircea Teodorescu
Polymers 2022, 14(19), 4216; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14194216 - 8 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2091
Abstract
The present work investigates, for the first time, the synthesis and properties of some nanocomposite (NC) hydrogels obtained by the aqueous solution free radical polymerization of N-vinylpyrrolidone (NVP) in the presence of Laponite XLG (XLG) as a crosslinker, in comparison with the corresponding [...] Read more.
The present work investigates, for the first time, the synthesis and properties of some nanocomposite (NC) hydrogels obtained by the aqueous solution free radical polymerization of N-vinylpyrrolidone (NVP) in the presence of Laponite XLG (XLG) as a crosslinker, in comparison with the corresponding hydrogels prepared by using two conventional crosslinking divinyl monomers: N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide (MBA) and tri(ethylene glycol) divinyl ether (DVE). The structure and properties of the hydrogels were studied by FTIR, TEM, XRD, SEM, swelling and rheological and compressive mechanical measurements. The results showed that DVE and XLG are much better crosslinking agents for the synthesis of PNVP hydrogels than MBA, leading to larger gel fractions and more homogeneous network hydrogels. The hydrogels crosslinked by either DVE or XLG displayed comparable viscoelastic and compressive mechanical properties under the experimental conditions employed. The properties of the XLG-crosslinked hydrogels steadily improved as the clay content increased. The addition of XLG as a second crosslinker together with a divinyl monomer strongly enhanced the material properties in comparison with the hydrogels crosslinked by only one of the crosslinkers involved. The FTIR analyses suggested that the crosslinking of the NC hydrogels was the result of two different interactions occurring between the clay platelets and the PNVP chains. Laponite XLG displayed a uniform distribution within the NC hydrogels, the clay being mostly exfoliated. However, a small number of platelet agglomerations were still present. The PNVP hydrogels described here may find applications for water purification and in the biomedical field as drug delivery systems or wound dressings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites for Advanced Water Treatment Applications)
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Review

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31 pages, 2443 KiB  
Review
Unveiling the Latest Developments in Molecularly Imprinted Photocatalysts: A State-of-the-Art Review
by Adam Kubiak, Maria Stachowiak and Michał Cegłowski
Polymers 2023, 15(20), 4152; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15204152 - 19 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1166
Abstract
Responding to the growing concerns about environmental pollutants, scientists are increasingly turning to innovative solutions rooted in the field of environmental science. One such promising avenue combines the robustness of traditional photocatalysis with the precision of molecular imprinting, leading to the proposition of [...] Read more.
Responding to the growing concerns about environmental pollutants, scientists are increasingly turning to innovative solutions rooted in the field of environmental science. One such promising avenue combines the robustness of traditional photocatalysis with the precision of molecular imprinting, leading to the proposition of molecularly imprinted photocatalysts (MIPCs). These MIPCs hold the potential to specifically target and eliminate environmental pollutants, marking them as a promising tool in modern environmental remediation. As researchers delve deeper into this field, the design and optimization of MIPCs have become hotbeds for scientific inquiry. This comprehensive overview delves into the multifaceted approaches to MIPC design, elucidating on aspects like the selection of appropriate photocatalytic bases, the pivotal role of templates, the choice of monomeric building blocks, and the integration of effective cross-linking agents. However, as with all burgeoning technologies, the development of MIPCs is not without its challenges. These potential impediments to the successful innovation and implementation of MIPCs are also explored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites for Advanced Water Treatment Applications)
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