Development of Poly(acrylamide)-Based Hydrogel Composites with Powdered Activated Carbon for Controlled Sorption of PFOA and PFOS in Aqueous Systems

Maria Victoria X. Klaus, Angela M. Gutierrez, J. Zach Hilt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are anthropogenic compounds developed for various applications; some are connected to adverse health impacts including immunosuppression and higher susceptibility to some cancers. Current PFAS remediation treatments from aqueous sources include granular activated carbon (GAC) adsorption, membrane separation, and anion-exchange resin (AER) removal. Each has specific disadvantages, hence the need for a new and efficient technology. Herein, acrylamide-based hydrogel composites were synthesized with powdered activated carbon (PAC) and characterized to determine their affinity for PFAS. Physicochemical characterization included Fourier-Transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to identify chemical composition, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) to confirm PAC loading percentage, and aqueous swelling studies to measure the effect of crosslinking density. FTIR showed successful conversion of carbonyl and amine groups, and TGA analysis confirmed the presence of PAC within the network. Surface characterization also confirmed carbon-rich areas within composite networks, and the swelling ratio decreased with increasing crosslinking density. Finally, sorption of PFAS was detected via liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), with removal efficiencies of up to 98% for perfluorooctanoic sulfonic acid (PFOS) and 96% for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The developed hydrogel composites exhibited great potential as advanced materials with tunable levers that can increase affinity towards specific compounds in water.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4384
JournalPolymers
Volume15
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Keywords

  • hydrogels
  • PAC
  • PFAS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics

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