Chloromethylated activated carbon: A useful new synthon for making a novel class of sorbents for heavy metal separations

William D. Samuels, Nikki H. LaFemina, Vichaya Sukwarotwat, Wassana Yantasee, Xiaohong S. Li, Glen E. Fryxell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The chloromethylation of activated carbon is described. Chloromethylation was found to produce a carbon derivative with a surface area of 1310 m2/g and no significant change in the pore structure. The product was found to contain ~1.5 mmole of -CH2Cl groups per g of material, similar to the functional density reported in the original Merrifield resin synthesis. Displacement of the benzylic chloride was achieved by treating this material with an excess of sodium thiosulfate in refluxing aqueous methanol. The resulting Bunte salt was then hydrolyzed by treatment with warm 3 M HCl to afford the corresponding thiol ("AC-CH2-SH") cleanly and in high yield. AC-CH2-SH was found to be an effective heavy metal sorbent, efficiently capturing Hg, Pb, Ag, and Cu. Sorption kinetics were rapid, with equilibrium achieved in less than 30 minutes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-235
Number of pages8
JournalSeparation Science and Technology
Volume45
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

Keywords

  • Activated carbon
  • Chemically modified
  • Chloromethylation
  • Heavy metal
  • Mercury
  • Nanoporous
  • Sorbent
  • Thiol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation

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