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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Removal of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances from Natural and Wastewater by Tailored Silica-Based Adsorbents

Dudarko, Oksana; Budnyak, Tetyana; Tkachenko, Oleg; Agback, Tatiana; Agback, Peter; Bonnet, Bjorn; Ahrens, Lutz; Daniel, Geoffrey; Seisenbaeva, Gulaim


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are very stable and ubiquitously distributed in terrestrial and aquatic environments, and treatment and remediation techniques for the removal of PFAS are urgently needed. In this study, mesoporous silica matrix SBA-15 grafted with alkyl amino groups was used to remove perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) from aqueous solutions. The amino groups were grafted onto SBA-15 by the condensation of alkyl amino silanes. The synthesized adsorbents were studied by SEM, TEM, IR, low-temperature nitrogen sorption, and XRD. The solid-state and liquid F-19 NMR spectroscopy, EDX, and LC-MS/MS results showed high adsorption efficiency and rapid reaction kinetics. In freshly prepared solutions and on the surface of the sorbents, the presence of PFOA micelles was observed. Furthermore, the introduction of amine-containing groups into the structure of the sorbent allows the sorption of up to 649 mg/g of PFOA from solutions. Results showed that the protonated surface amino groups and PFOA interacted electrostatically. The obtained results open perspectives for producing adsorbents for facile extraction of PFAS.


PFAS; PFOA; sorption; SBA-15; water treatment

Published in

ACS ES&T water
2024, Volume: 4, number: 4, pages: 1303–1314