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Polyamine-substituted epoxy-grafted silica for aqueous metal recovery

Madjid Hadioui, Med Oimar Mecherri, Rastislav Šípoš, Yan Yvon, and Patrick Sharrock

LERISM, Castres IUT, Paul Sabatier University, G. Pompidou Ave., 81104 Castres, France



Abstract: Glycidoxypropyltriethoxysilane (GPS) was used as a reactive silane to graft metal- complexing ligands onto silica gel in aqueous media under mild conditions. The synthesis entailed the reaction of GPS with silica gel, followed by grafting polyamine onto the epoxy functional group. GPS was added to silica gel in ethanol with 5 vol. % water and the mixture was air-dried for 24 h. Subsequently, excess amounts of polyamines: triethylenetetramine, tetraethylenepentamine, and pentaethylenehexamine were individually added to the silanised silica, followed by solvent evaporation and ovendrying at 60°C. The ligand-grafted silica gel particles showed a rapid heavy metal uptake in batch or flow-through experiments with capacities reaching 0.1 mmol g−1 for copper, zinc, cadmium, or lead ions. Columns packed with the modified particles could be readily regenerated by acid-washing with only a small decrease in activity. The particles could be used for the colourimetric detection of heavy metal pollution or for pre-concentration for analytical purposes. Competition between Cu2+, Zn2+, Pb2+, and Cd2+ ions for the three synthesised silica showed that Cu2+ ions were adsorbed more strongly than the other metal ions. The general method developed can be applied to graft other molecules with terminal amino groups for other purposes.

Keywords: amino-substituted silanes – modified silica particles – grafting – heavy metals – complexation – pre-concentration

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-011-0067-5


Chemical Papers 65 (6) 855–862 (2011)

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