Date published:

Porous Poly(2-oxazoline)-Based Polymers for Removal and Quantification of Phenolic Compounds

Michał Cegłowski, Grzegorz Schroeder, Richard Hoogenboom: Porous Poly(2-oxazoline)-Based Polymers for Removal and Quantification of Phenolic Compounds, Chemistry of Materials (32)(15) (2020) pp. 6425-6436

Chemical substances that pose a threat to the health or life of humans and animals are particularly dangerous when they get into the aquatic environment as a result of industrial production or human activity. Monitoring and removal of residues of plant protection products, drugs, other harmful or toxic commercial chemicals in the environment is currently one of the basic tasks of sustainable development and green chemistry programs.

To remove them from the environment, various chemical and physical processes are used, including adsorption with specially designed adsorbents. Porous materials provide the most effective adsorption process due to their highly developed specific surface. Porous polymers are of particular interest to many researchers, as they enable the preparation of functional, porous polymers that would be able to adsorb precisely defined organic pollutants selectively.

In the publication by Dr. Cegłowski and prof. Schroeder from the Department of Supramolecular Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Adam Mickiewicz University, and prof. Hoogenboom from the Ghent University described research results to develop a new

method of obtaining porous polymers consisting of highly cross-linked poly(2-oxazoline)s. The so-called HIPE (high internal phase emulsion) procedure allows obtaining polymeric materials with high porosity. Due to the presence of amino groups in their structure, the obtained materials had a high adsorption capacity for phenolic compounds, such as 2,4-dichlorophenol, bisphenol S, and 2-naphthol. These compounds are produced on a global scale in significant amounts, therefore it is necessary to monitor their concentration in the environment. The obtained porous poly(2-oxazoline)s had a very high adsorption capacity of the mentioned phenolic compounds, which means that they can effectively and selectively remove them from aqueous solutions. In addition, the obtained materials were used to directly determine the concentration of phenolic compounds with the use of an experimental plasma ionization mass spectrometer under ambient conditions, which the Department of Supramolecular Chemistry possesses.

The use of selective adsorption on the developed polymers improved the detection limits by two orders of magnitude, confirming the usefulness of the obtained porous polymers in the trace analysis of organic compounds.