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Combined Approach To Remove and Fast Detect Heavy Metals in Water Based on PES–TiO2 Electrospun Mats and Porphyrin Chemosensors

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journal contribution
posted on 02.07.2018, 00:00 by Giulia Ognibene, Chiara M. A. Gangemi, Alessandro D’Urso, Roberto Purrello, Gianluca Cicala, Maria Elena Fragalà
Hybrid poly­(ether sulfones) (PES)–TiO2 electrospun mats are used as selective filters to remove lead and zinc ions from water. Presence of TiO2 is functional to trigger fiber’s surface charge that allows for better performances in terms of ionic adsorption with respect to bare PES mats. Temperature increase promotes a speed up of ion removal. Ability of electrospun mats to retain adsorbed ions is proven by washing procedures, which confirm the lack of released Pb2+ in solution, even after sonication. To detect presence of metal ions in aqueous solutions, water-soluble porphyrins are used as chemosensors, which are able to provide fast, in-field, and real-time analysis. In particular, cationic H2T4 metalation, occurring both in solution or at transparent glass surface, allows for a straightforward spectrophotometric (UV–vis) detection of metal ions in solution.