Preparation and Evaluation of Water-Compatible Surface Molecularly Imprinted Polymers for Selective Adsorption of Bisphenol A from Aqueous Solution

Water-compatible molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for adsorbing bisphenol A (BPA) in aqueous solutions are synthesized using water-soluble monomer as surface hydrophilicity-increasing agent via surface addition–fragmentation chain transfer polymerization. The formation and structure of these hybrid materials are verified by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, contact angle studies, thermogravimetric analysis, and scanning electron microscopy. The characterization and adsorption results indicate that the molecularly imprinted polymers prepared with 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonic acid (AMPS/MIPs) are water-compatible (the contact angle is 14°). The excellent dispersion of AMPS/MIPs in water provides more opportunity for BPA molecules to access the imprinted cavities and improves their recognition characteristics. The kinetics and isotherm data of AMPS/MIPs can be well described by the pseudo-second-order kinetic model and the Langmuir isotherm, respectively. The thermodynamic studies indicate that the adsorption process is a spontaneous exothermic process.