IISER Ionic organic material to remove pollutants

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Pune, India have developed a unique molecular sponge-like material that can effectively clean polluted water. The material, called a macro/microporous ionic organic framework, is able to absorb and remove a wide range of toxic contaminants, including organic dyes, antibiotics, pesticides, iodides, and oxo-pollutants such as perrhenate. These contaminants can pose a direct threat to human health and the environment, and are commonly found in freshwater sources.

Conventional Sorbent Materials Lack Efficiency

Traditionally, sorbent materials have been used to purify water by trapping pollutants through an ion-exchange process. However, these materials often suffer from poor kinetics and specificity, leading to limited effectiveness in removing contaminants. In an effort to address this issue, the researchers at IISER Pune developed a new material called viologen-unit grafted organic-framework (iVOFm).

iVOFm Utilizes Electrostatics and Macropores to Remove Pollutants

The iVOFm material combines ion-exchange with nanometer-sized macropores and specific binding sites to target and remove pollutants from water. The size and number of the macropores, as well as the strong electrostatic interaction of the material, allow for the swift capture of a variety of toxic pollutants. To create the material, the researchers employed a “make-and-break” strategy, using a charged porous organic polymer (POP) as a sponge-like framework on silica nanoparticles. The silica nanoparticles were then removed, resulting in an ordered, hierarchical, interconnected macro/microporous structure.

iVOFm Shows Fast and Effective Removal of Pollutants

The iVOFm material has an inherent cationic nature and large macropores, allowing for fast diffusion of pollutants. In testing, the material was able to remove over 93% of a wide range of contaminants within 30 seconds. It was particularly effective at removing the sulfadimethoxine antibiotic. In addition to its efficiency, the material can also be reused multiple times to clean contaminated water.

Overall, the development of the iVOFm material represents a significant advancement in the field of water purification. Its ability to quickly and effectively remove a wide range of contaminants makes it a promising solution for addressing water pollution.



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