The Use of Mesoporous Silicas to Absorb and Separate Metals and Nanoparticles from Aqueous or Organic Solutions

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Resource or Project Abstract

The conservation and protection of the environment is essential for the health of both humans and other organisms and, therefore, has increased the urgency for methods of removal of both metal ions and nanoparticles from the environment. Heavy metal ions are the most significant environmental pollutants found in waste water, thus raising concerns regarding the long-term effects of metal ion exposure on human health and natural ecosystems. The metal ions that cause most concern for human and animal health include chromium, nickel, manganese and iron, together with various heavy metals, due to their toxic properties when consumed in large quantities. Research completed in UCC included mesoporous silica spheres being synthesised and functionalised and subsequently used as absorbents for metal ions, both single metal and mixed metal solutions as well as metallic nanoparticles. Single metal ion extraction was carried out over the pH range between 4 and 10 to identify the optimum pH for removing each metal ion. Metal ion extractions were also carried out in nonbuffered water to replicate the natural environmental conditions for these metal ions. The absorbents used for these extraction experiments consisted of mesoporous silicas functionalised with aminopropyl ligands (Si-NH), mesoporous silicas functionalised with a mercaptopropyl ligand (Si-SH) and mesoporous silicas functionalised with both aminopropyl and mercaptopropyl ligands (SH-Si-NH). Different metal ions form more stable complexes with either aminopropyl or mercaptopropyl ligands. The results of this study emphasise and support the idea that mesoporous silica materials can be tailored to specific applications. The relationship shown between material science and environmental science highlights that the remediation of pollutants from ecological systems could represent a new future direction in which nanomaterial research should be guided. Overall the results confirm that synthesised mesoporous material could be successfully applied for waste-water treatment in industry.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Aoife Burke
University College Cork
Environmental Research Scientist
Lab343 Department of Chemistry, Kane Building University College Cork, College Rd, Cork City, Ireland
Telephone: +353 21 4902911
e-mail: Aoife.Burke@ucc.ie

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Offline Print Quality Version    STRIVE_33_Burke_MesoporousSilicas_prn.pdf  (4.91 Mb)
Project Report Optimised For Online Viewing    STRIVE_33_Burke_MesoporousSilicas_web.pdf  (1.17 Mb)
Att: 3    STRIVE_33_Burke_MesoporusSilicas_SummaryFindings.pdf  (0.29 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Burke, A.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationThe Use of Mesoporous Silicas to Absorb and Separate Metals and Nanoparticles from Aqueous or Organic Solutions
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=d69262d6-2be6-102d-99dd-ef394edc666a
Unique Identifierd69262d6-2be6-102d-99dd-ef394edc666a
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2017-09-24

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Burke, A.   "The Use of Mesoporous Silicas to Absorb and Separate Metals and Nanoparticles from Aqueous or Organic Solutions". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=d69262d6-2be6-102d-99dd-ef394edc666a (Last Accessed: 2017-09-24)

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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/display?isoID=134
Resource KeywordsMesoporous Silicas MetalsNanoparticles Organic synthesised ions chromium, nickel, manganese iron
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2005-ET-MS-30-M3
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeWaste and Resource Management
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Public-Open
Limitations on the use of this ResourceIn the event of obtaining access to datasets corresponding to this resource any datasets, data, or information resources being used in a journal article or other means of publication the original authors should be informed of this usage and an appropriate acknowledgement or citation is included within the published article. The EPA advise that this acknowledgement should take one of the following forms dependent upon how heavily the published work relates to the downloaded data: * Co-Authorship(s) for the original author(s)* Written acknowledgement within the body of the article* Written acknowledgement by means of the inclusion of a bibliography entry which clearly cites the original authors.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 3
Project Start Date Sunday 1st May 2005 (01-05-2005)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Sunday 1st May 2005 (01-05-2005)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Friday 1st May 2009 (01-05-2009)
Published on SAFERThursday 26th November 2009 (26-11-2009)
Date of Last EditThursday 26th November 2009 at 14:21:56 (26-11-2009)
Datasets or Files Updated On Thursday 26th November 2009 at 14:21:56 (26-11-2009)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
This project was a laboratory based project. Non-buffered water and an environmental sample was supplied by the EPA. Parent silica samples and the functionalised silica samples were tested. There are no geographical linkages in the experimental setup.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
In 2004, the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released guidelines for the tolerable limits of metallic ion concentration in drinking water supplies. Industrial waste waters, especially mining and metallurgical waste waters, are believed to be the major sources of heavy metal ion contamination. The EPA also released strict guidelines for metal ion This project explored the development of new nanostructured materials (silica) for effective treatment of various pollutants including metal ions and metal nanoparticles. content within industrial waste water. Heavy metal ions are the most significant environmental pollutants found in waste water, thus raising concerns regarding the long-term effects of metal ion exposure on human health and natural ecosystems
Supplementary Information
The results of this study emphasise and support the idea that mesoporous silica materials can be tailored to specific applications. The relationship shown between material science and environmental science highlights that the remediation of pollutants from ecological systems could represent a new future direction in which nanomaterial research should be guided. Overall the results confirm that synthesised mesoporous material could be successfully applied for waste-water treatment in industry.

The environmental application studied in this study incorporates remediation of pollutants, specifically metal ions and nanoparticles. The metal ion and nanoparticle extraction was achieved by filtration of polluted samples through a fixed bed of absorbents. Atomic absorption and UV-Vis techniques were used to quantify the removal of metal ions and nanoparticles from solution. The applied absorbents included monofunctionalised and bi-functionalised mesoporous silica spheres. The mono-functionalised absorbents were chemically modified using either an aminopropyl or a mercaptopropyl ligand, whereas the bi-functionalised absorbent was modified with both an aminopropyl and mercaptopropyl ligand. Each mono-functionalised absorbent showed attraction to particular metal ions as expected, while the bi-functionalised absorbent removed a mix of metal ions. These completed experiments emphasise the suitability of mesoporous silica spheres for metal pollutant remediation. An industrial sample supplied by the EPA was also filtered through the fixed bed of absorbents. The successful extraction of metal ions from this industrial sample shows that the absorbent materials are suitable for waste-water clean-up in industry.

Other partners on this project are: Justin Holmes,David Healy, and Michael Morris Department of Chemistry University College Cork Ireland John Hanrahan Environmental Research Institute (ERI) University College Cork, Ireland
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