Selective removal of heavy metals by Zr-based MOFs in wastewater: New acid and amino functionalization strategy

Wenying Lv , Ping Chen , Yalan Wang , Xiaoqin Zhuang , Haijin Liu , Guoguang Liu


Received May 14, 2021,Revised , Accepted October 10, 2021, Available online February 02, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 268-280

Zr-based metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have been developed in recent years to treat heavy metals, e.g. hexavalent chromium Cr6+ pollution, which damages the surrounding ecosystem and threaten human health. This kind of MOF is stable and convenient to prepare, but has the disadvantage of low adsorption capacity, limiting its wide application. To this end, a novel formic acid and amino modified MOFs were prepared, referred to as Form-UiO-66-NH2. Due to the modification of formic acid, its specific surface area, pore size, and crystal size were effectively expanded, and the adsorption capacity of Cr6+ was significantly enhanced. Under optimal conditions, Form-UiO-66-NH2 exhibited an excellent adsorption capacity (338.98 mg/g), ∼10 times higher than that reported for unmodified Zr-based MOFs and most other adsorbents. An in-depth study on the photoelectronic properties and pH confirmed that the adsorption mechanism of Form-UiO-66-NH2 to Cr6+ was electrostatic adsorption. After modification, the improvement of Cr6+ adsorption capacity by Form-UiO-66-NH2 was attributed to the expansion of its specific surface area and the increase in its surface charge. The present study revealed an important finding that Form-UiO-66-NH2 elucidated selective adsorption to Cr6+ in mixed wastewater containing toxic heavy metal ions and common nonmetallic water quality factors. This research provided a new acid and amino functionalization perspective for improving the adsorption capacity of Zr-based MOF adsorbents while simultaneously demonstrating their pertinence to target contaminant adsorption.

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