Comparative adsorption of emerging contaminants in water by functional designed magnetic poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)/chitosan hydrogels

Aijiao Zhou, Wangwei Chen, Lei Liao, Pengchao Xie, Tian C. Zhang, Xumeng Wu, Xiaonan Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The magnetic poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)/chitosan hydrogel with interpenetrating network (IPN) structure was designed based on the functional groups of targeted emerging contaminants, represented by hydrophilic sulfamethoxazole (SMZ) and hydrophobic bisphenol A (BPA). The average particle size, specific surface area, and total pore volume of the hydrogel were turned out to be 103.7 μm, 60.70 m 2 /g and 0.0672 cm 3 /g, respectively. Adsorption results indicated that the maximum adsorption capacity occurred at the pH where SMZ was anionic and BPA was uncharged. When the adsorption temperature increased from 25 °C to 35 °C, the amount of adsorbed SMZ hardly changed, but that of BPA increased by two times. The adsorption capacity of the binary system (i.e., with both SMZ and BPA) was almost the same as that of the single system, indicating that simultaneous adsorption of SMZ and BPA was achieved. The adsorption equilibrium was reached quickly (within 5 min) for both SMZ and BPA. For adsorption isotherm, the Freundlich model fitted well for SMZ at 25, 35 and 45 °C. However, the adsorption of BPA exhibited the sigmoidally shaped isotherm at 25 °C with the Slips model fitting well, and both the Freundlich isotherm and the Slips isotherm fitted the data well at 35 °C and 45 °C, suggesting that the adsorption force was initially weak but greatly enhanced with an increase in adsorbate concentration or ambient temperature. The main adsorption mechanism was inferred to be electrostatic interactions for SMZ, and hydrophobic interactions as well as hydrogen bonding for BPA. The hydrogel adsorbent maintained favorable adsorption capacity for BPA after five adsorption-desorption cycles. These findings may provide a strategy for designing high performance adsorbents that can remove both hydrophilic and hydrophobic organic contaminants in the aquatic environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-387
Number of pages11
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Jun 25 2019


  • Adsorption
  • Chitosan
  • Emerging contaminants
  • Hydrogel
  • Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)
  • Regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative adsorption of emerging contaminants in water by functional designed magnetic poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)/chitosan hydrogels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this