DEC 24, 2020 3:40 PM PST

Sorbent made from MOF grown on PET absorbs common insecticide

A new study published recently in Applied Materials Today details an innovative method of absorbing insecticide from water. The sorbent is made from a metal-organic framework grown on old plastic water bottles made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a commonly used plastic. The method was designed by chemists from Tomsk Polytechnic University.

Metal-organic frameworks, known as MOFs, are a class of compounds consisting of metal ions or clusters bonded to organic ligands that form three-dimensional porous structures. MOFs are unique in that they have the properties of both metals and organic compounds. Their porousness also gives them a high surface area.

"Due to their porous structure and a number of other properties, metal-organic frameworks have a high potential as sorbents. We are particularly interested in the problem of insecticide sorption, which are extensively used in modern agriculture and accumulated in soil and water. We have proposed a new method to synthesize a metal-organic framework named UiO-66 with zirconium ions. The source material is what interests us first of all," Pavel Postnikov, the research supervisor and Associate Professor of TPU Research School of Chemistry and Applied Biomedical Sciences, says.

The researchers were interested in developing a sorbent that could absorb imidacloprid from water.  Imidacloprid is one of the most commonly used insecticides in agriculture. Author of the study Oleg Semyonov explains:

"Imidacloprid accumulates in natural water bodies penetrating from soil. According to Canadian researchers, imidacloprid was detected in waters around the world at concentrations ranging from 0.001 to 320 micrograms per liter.”

The UiO-66 MOF combined with zirconium ions provided a framework sensitive enough to attract imidacloprid molecules and remove them from water.  Luckily, PET offered a foundation for UiO-66. “UiO-66 is usually derived at high temperatures and pressure using commercial terephthalic acid. However, we used PET consisting of ethylene glycol with terephthalic acid. This acid is a structural material for organic linkers in frameworks and plastic bottle material already contains it," says Semyonov.  

Photo: Pixabay

The researchers were able to show that their sorbent can be reused up to five times and remove insecticide molecules from water with 15 grams of sorbent per 1 liter. They say that they have hope that their sorbent will benefit the agricultural industry in enhancing filtration systems.

Sources: Applied Materials Today, Eureka Alert

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
DEC 03, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Ozone Reacts with THC in Thirdhand Cannabis Smoke
DEC 03, 2020
Ozone Reacts with THC in Thirdhand Cannabis Smoke
Researchers from the University of Toronto have found that ozone, a component of outdoor and indoor air, reacts with tet ...
DEC 19, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Advanced Chemistry Module to Aid Future Mars Exploration
DEC 19, 2020
Advanced Chemistry Module to Aid Future Mars Exploration
Despite its resemblance to Earth, Mars, our planetary neighbor, is not exactly a friendly environment for human explorer ...
DEC 24, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Novel Two-phased Particles are the Ultimate Authenticity Tag
DEC 24, 2020
Novel Two-phased Particles are the Ultimate Authenticity Tag
Counterfeit goods producers are flooding the global market with low-quality, sometimes dangerous merchandise and ripping ...
JAN 17, 2021
Space & Astronomy
New Way to Extract Energy from Black Holes
JAN 17, 2021
New Way to Extract Energy from Black Holes
In his theory of general relativity, Einstein predicted that black holes harbor an enormous amount of energy. And now, r ...
MAR 23, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Honeybees send chemical messages by "twerking"
MAR 23, 2021
Honeybees send chemical messages by "twerking"
Remember playing telephone as a kid (or an adult)? It always brings a laugh when you try to pass a word or sentence alon ...
APR 01, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Solubility Factors When Choosing a Solvent
APR 01, 2021
Solubility Factors When Choosing a Solvent
Solubility Factors When Choosing a Solvent Solubility functions by a group of rules that determine how dissolvable a sub ...
Loading Comments...