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Amine-Functionalized Metal–Organic Frameworks and Covalent Organic Polymers as Potential Sorbents for Removal of Formaldehyde in Aqueous Phase: Experimental Versus Theoretical Study

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journal contribution
posted on 13.12.2018, 00:00 by Kowsalya Vellingiri, Ya-Xin Deng, Ki-Hyun Kim, Jheng-Jie Jiang, Taejin Kim, Jin Shang, Wha-Seung Ahn, Deepak Kukkar, Danil W. Boukhvalov
Porous materials have been identified as efficient sorbent media to remove volatile organic compounds. To evaluate their potential as adsorbents, the adsorptive removal of formaldehyde (FA) in aqueous environments was investigated using four materials, two water-stable metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) of UiO-66 (U6) and U6-NH2 (U6N) and two covalent organic polymers (COPs) with amine-functionality, CBAP-1-EDA (CE) and CBAP-1-DETA (CD). U6N exhibited the highest removal capacity of 93% (0.56 mg g–1) of the tested materials [e.g., CE (81.1%, 0.53 mg g–1) > CD (67.2%, 0.43 mg g–1) > U6 (66.9%, 0.42 mg g–1)], which was 2 times higher than that of the reference sorbent, activated carbon (AC: 50%, 0.30 mg g–1). The results of Fourier transform infrared and powder X-ray diffraction analyses confirmed the interactions between FA molecules and the amine components of the materials (U6N, CD, and CE). According to density functional theory calculations, the formation of hydrogen bonds between FA molecules and amine components was apparent and was further verified by FA/amine distance (CD: 2.83, CE: 2.88, and U6N: 2.66 Å) along with enthalpy values (CD: −32.4, CE: −45.5, and U6N: −272 kJ mol–1). In case of U6, the major interactions occurred in the metal–clusters (−19.3 kJ mol–1) via electrostatic interactions (distance: 5.49 Å). Furthermore, the sorption by amine-functionalized materials such as U6N is suggested to be dominated by hydrogen bonding which ultimately led to the formation of imine. If the performance of the tested materials is evaluated in terms of partition coefficient, U6N (1153 mg g–1 mM–1) is found as the outperformer in all tested subjects. Regeneration of spent MOFs/COPs was also plausible in the presence of ethanol to maintain their structural integrity even after 10 adsorption–desorption cycles. Overall, the selected MOFs/COPs were seen to have very high removal capacity for hazardous FA molecules in aqueous phase.