Reusable Functionalized Hydrogel Sorbents for Removing Long- and Short-Chain Perfluoroalkyl Acids (PFAAs) and GenX from Aqueous Solution

Po Jung Huang, Myung Hwangbo, Zheyuan Chen, Yina Liu, Jun Kameoka*, Kung Hui Chu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are man-made chemicals that are toxic and widely detected in the environment, including drinking water sources. A cost-effective treatment process for PFASs is currently not available. We developed reusable hydrogel sorbents to remove long- and short-chain perfluoroalkyl acids and 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoro-2-(heptafluoropropoxy)propanoic acid (GenX), which is are emerging PFAS. Through fluoridation and amination of poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA), the newly synthesized sorbents can sorb the five targeted PFASs (perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS), and perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA) and GenX) to different degrees from aqueous solution. Aminated PEGDA showed the highest sorption capacity for all five PFASs, particularly for PFBA and PFBS. The bifunctionalized PEGDA showed higher capacities for PFOA and PFOS, suggesting that both hydrophobic interactions and charges contribute to the sorption. Both aminated and bifunctionalized sorbents can remove GenX from water, with the highest sorption capacity of 98.7 μmol g aminated PEGDA-1 within 6 h. The absorbed PFASs on the sorbents were observed and characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. The spent sorbents were reusable after readily regenerated with 70% methanol contained 1% NaCl.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17447-17455
Number of pages9
JournalACS Omega
Volume3
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 17
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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