(583n) N-Isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm) Based Thermal Responsive Composites for Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Removal from Water

Tang, S., University of Kentucky
Hilt, J. Z., University of Kentucky
Dziubla, T., University of Kentucky
Thermally responsive hydrogel based sorbents have gained great attention for environmental remediation, specifically in water treatment, due to their high adsorption capacities and response to external environment change. N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm) is one of the most widely studied thermo-responsive materials, which undergoes reversible phase transition at its lower critical solution temperature (LCST) around 32°C. NIPAAm-based thermally responsive materials can be synthesized with various functionalities, which can provide specific interactions with target environment pollutants (e.g., organic dyes, PCBs). Our group’s recent efforts have focused on applying naturally derived polyphenols to develop materials with binding affinities to such pollutants. In this work, multiple types of NIPAAm-based thermally responsive hydrogels and core-shell magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) were synthesized and characterized. Their ability to remove specific PCB congeners at both room temperature and elevated temperature was evaluated, and PCB 126 was chosen to serve as a model coplanar congener. We hypothesize that the temperature responsive nature of NIPAAm based composites will facilitate the binding activity through swelling changes around their LCST with contaminants, such as PCBs, captured within their network.