Carboxymethyl cellulose thiol-imprinted polymers: Synthesis, characterization and selective Hg(II) adsorption

Tarisai Velempini, Kriveshini Pillay, Xavier Y. Mbianda, Omotayo A. Arotiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Sulfur containing ion imprinted polymers (S-IIPs) were applied for the uptake of Hg(II) from aqueous solution. Cysteamine which was used as the ligand for Hg(II) complexation, was grafted along the epichlorohydrin crosslinked carboxylated carboxymethyl cellulose polymer chain through an amide reaction. The adsorption ability of S-IIPs towards Hg(II) was investigated by kinetic and isotherm models, which, corresponding, showed that the adsorption process followed a pseudo-second-order, fitted well with the Langmuir isotherm with a maximum adsorption capacity of 80 mg/g. Moreover, thermodynamic studies indicated an endothermic and spontaneous reaction with the tendency of an enhanced randomness at the surface of the S-IIPs with temperature increases. S-IIPs indicated a high degree of selectivity towards Hg(II) in the presence of Cu 2 + , Zn 2 + , Co 2 + , Pb 2 + and Cd 2 + . Furthermore, the efficiency of S-IIPs was also evaluated against real samples showing 86.78%, 91.88%, and 99.10% recovery for Hg(II) wastewater, ground water and tap water, respectively. In this study, the adsorbent was successfully regenerated for five cycles, which allows for their reuse without significant loss of initial adsorption capability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-296
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Environmental Sciences
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • Adsorption
  • Carboxymethyl cellulose
  • Ion-imprinted polymers
  • Mercury(II)
  • Thiol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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