Synthesis and Characterization of Customizable Polyaniline-Derived Polymers and Their Application for Perfluorooctanoic Acid Removal from Aqueous Solution

Yaniv Olshansky, Anton Gomeniuc, Jon Chorover, Leif Abrell, Jim Field, Jim Hatton, Reyes Sierra-Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exploring selective, high-affinity adsorbents is a priority for the development of improved per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) remediation technologies. We hypothesize that affinity and selectivity of secondary amine hydrophobic polymers for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) can be tailored by modifying the polymer surface charge and hydrophobic backbone. We synthesized an array of pyrrole and several aniline derivatives with different substitutions on the aniline ring. We characterized these polymers using a multifaceted approach, including surface areas, charge densities, and molecular structures using N2−BET adsorption, electrophoretic mobility, as well as infrared- and X-ray spectroscopy techniques. The affinity and selectivity of these polymers for PFOA were then tested across a wide range of aqueous solution pH values and interpreted based on the characterization data. We found that a balance between the addition of hydrophobic substitutions to the polymer backbone and the presence of cationic amine groups provides the highest affinity of the new adsorbents to PFOA. The data also indicate that conformational changes in polymer tertiary structure can regulate the balance between electrostatic and hydrophobic adsorption mechanisms. Among the tested polymers, poly-o-toluidine, polyaniline, and poly-o-anisidine are the most promising adsorbents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1438-1446
Number of pages9
JournalACS ES and T Water
Volume1
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 11 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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