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Cotton Fabric Functionalized with a β‑Cyclodextrin Polymer Captures Organic Pollutants from Contaminated Air and Water

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posted on 02.11.2016, 13:34 authored by Diego M. Alzate-Sánchez, Brian J. Smith, Alaaeddin Alsbaiee, Juan P. Hinestroza, William R. Dichtel
Cotton fabric is covalently functionalized with a porous β-cyclodextrin polymer by including the fabric in the polymerization mixture. The resulting functionalized fabric (CD-TFP@cotton) sequesters organic micropollutants, such as bisphenol A, from water with outstanding speed and a capacity 10-fold higher than that of untreated cotton. The functionalized fabric also readily captures volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the vapor phase more quickly and with a capacity higher than that of untreated cotton as well as three commercially available fabric-based adsorbents. Volatile adsorbed pollutants were fully extracted from CD-TFP@cotton under reduced pressure at room temperature, permitting simple reuse. These properties make cotton functionalized with the cyclodextrin polymer of interest for water purification membranes, odor controlling fabrics, and respirators that control exposure to VOCs. This functionalization approach is scalable, likely to be amenable to other fibrous substrates, and compatible with existing fiber manufacturing techniques.