Tailored Polyanilines Are High-Affinity Adsorbents for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

Yaniv Olshansky, Anton Gomeniuc, Jon Chorover, Leif Abrell, Jim A. Field, James Hatton, Jianzhou He, Reyes Sierra-Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Remediation of water contaminated by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) relies heavily on separation techniques. This work tested the adsorption of seven PFAS (including short-chain congeners) on polyaniline-derived polymers under simulated environmentally relevant conditions including a range of natural organic matter (NOM) and ion concentrations, mineral anionic and cationic species, and multi-component PFAS solutions. Results were benchmarked against commercial activated carbon and polymeric resin. The polymers poly-o-toluidine and polyaniline exhibited high PFAS removal efficiencies of over 98 and 75% of each PFAS in the compound mixture, respectively. The adsorption capacity of the polymers was comparable to that of activated carbon on a mass basis at low equilibrium concentrations (<50 μg L-1) and higher when adsorption was based on the surface area for the tested concentration range (1-1000 μg L-1). The tailored polymers performed similar to or better than the activated carbon and resin in the presence of elevated NOM. In addition, the fast PFOA adsorption kinetics (6.20 and 4.92 g mg-1 h-1 for poly-o-toluidine and polyaniline, respectively), the low desorption of adsorbed PFAS to aqueous media, and the facile regeneration using methanol with 10 g kg-1 NaCl at ambient temperature make these polymers ideal for flow-through sorption technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1402-1410
Number of pages9
JournalACS ES and T Water
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 12 2022


  • PFAS
  • adsorption
  • desorption
  • polymeric sorbents
  • water remediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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