Porous organic nanofiber polymers as superfast adsorbents for capturing pharmaceutical contaminants from water

Seenu Ravi, Yujin Choi, Shiliang Wu, Rui Xiao, Youn Sang Bae

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The development of simple, low-cost adsorbents is critical for waste management in the medical industry (in particular, pharmaceutical and personal care product (PPCP) waste) to restore the natural state of the water system. This study presents novel hypercrosslinked hydroxyl-rich porous organic polymers (HPOPs) that were synthesized via Friedel-Crafts reactions as potential adsorbents for PPCP capture. Their successful syntheses, surface properties, and chemical stabilities were investigated through various characterization tools. The uniquely structured HPOP-3, denoted as porous organic nanofiber (PONF), shows superior adsorption capacities for three model PPCPs (diclofenac sodium, sulfamethoxazole, and acetaminophen) compared to most of the other reported benchmark materials. Furthermore, due to its unique surface properties such as well-defined hierarchical porosity containing both micropores and mesopores and nanofiber-like structure, PONF exhibits superfast adsorption kinetics for all the model PPCPs. It also shows excellent selectivity against another large organic compound (humic acid) and metal ions (Na+, K+, Ca+, and Mg2+), which are commonly contained in wastewater. PONF shows decent reusability over 10 cycles without a deterioration in the sorption capacity. A plausible host-guest mechanism for superior PPCP adsorption on PONF is also proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)730-741
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science: Nano
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (No. NRF-2021R1I1A1A01058669, 2019R1A2C2002313, and No. 2020R1A5A1019131). This work was also supported by a Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) grant funded by the Korean government (MOTIE) (No. 20198550000920).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science(all)


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