Journal of hazardous materials

A functionalized phosphonate-rich organosilica layered hybrid material (PSLM) fabricated through a mild process for heavy metal uptake.

PMID 24565929


A phosphonate-rich organosilica layered hybrid material (PSLM) made of 3-(trihydroxysilyl)propyl methylphosphonate, monosodium salt, as the single silica source, has been obtained from its aqueous solution through a xerogel process and mild thermal aging. The method is simple, affording bulk quantities of powdered PSLM in a single-step. The hybrid is stable in water and possesses a high content of phosphonate groups fixed on the solid matrix. In addition, PSLM shows good thermal stability, which exceeds 300°C in air. The material was characterized using SEM, TEM, XRD, FT-IR and TGA techniques. Potentiometric titrations show that PSLM bears high-surface density of phosphonate groups (3 mmol g(-1)). As a result, the material displays high metal uptake capacity for heavy metal ions such as Cu(2+) (2.72mmolg(-1)), Pb(2+) (1.67 mmol g(-1)) and Cd(2+) (1.00 mmol g(-1)) at neutral pH values e.g. the pH of natural waters. Detailed theoretical modeling using a Surface Complexation Model combined with Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy shows that the surface distribution of surface bound Cu(2+) ions is rather homogeneous e.g. copper-binding phosphonate sites are arranged in average distances 5-8Å.

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3-(Trihydroxysilyl)propyl methylphosphonate, monosodium salt solution, 50 wt. % in H2O