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Recycling Plastic Waste for Environmental Remediation in Water Purification and CO2 Capture

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journal contribution
posted on 16.06.2020, 00:03 by Xinxin Dong, Ammara Akram, Bibiana Comesaña-Gándara, Xinfei Dong, Qingchun Ge, Ke Wang, Shi-Peng Sun, Baosheng Jin, Cher Hon Lau
The synthesis of hyper-cross-linked polymers (HCPs) is typically achieved using costly reagents. This study demonstrates the utilization of a plastic waste, Styrofoam, to create a series of HCPs through a one-pot Friedel–Crafts reaction. The influence of substrate, catalyst, and cross-linker ratio was investigated to yield HCPs with Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface areas up to 1199 m2/g. We exploited this recyclate HCP for carbon capture from flue gas, dye removal, and As­(V) sequestration from water. The adsorption capabilities of this cost-effective adsorbent were comparable to and surpassed current state-of-the-art nanoporous materials such as metal–organic frameworks (MOFs), activated carbon, zeolites, and other HCPs.