Systematic modulation of thiol functionalities in inexpensive porous polymers for effective mercury removal

Sirinapa Wongwilawan, Doyun Kim, Thien Si Nguyen, Wonki Lim, Sheng Li, Cafer Tayyar Yavuz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mercury (Hg) contamination in aquatic systems still poses serious health risks through accumulation despite the strict regulations on drinking water and industrial discharge. One effective strategy is adsorptive removal, where a suitably functionalized porous material is added to water treatment protocols. Thiol (SH) group grafted structures perform commendably without due attention to the cost, scalability, and reusability and how the arrangement of sulfur atoms could affect the Hg (II) binding strength. We use an inexpensive and scalable porous covalent organic polymer (COP-130) to systematically introduce thiol functional groups with precise chain lengths and sulfur content. The thiol-functionalized COP-130 demonstrates enhanced wettability and excellent Hg (II) uptake up to 936 mg g-1, with fast kinetics and exceptionally high selectivity. These Hg adsorbents are easily regenerated with HCl and used at least six times even after strong acid treatments without loss of capacity, a rare performance in the Hg removal research domain.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChemistry – A European Journal
StatePublished - Sep 28 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-10-04
Acknowledgements: This work is supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the Nano-Material Technology Development Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF-2017M3A7B4042140 and NRF-2017M3A7B4042273). S.W. thanks PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited, Thailand,for the GC scholarship.D.K. was supported by the Sosen scholarship from the Community Chest of Korea.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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