Mercury Nano-Trap for Effective and Efficient Removal of Mercury(II) from Aqueous Solution

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chelating agents, decontamination, drinking water, humans, mercury, nanostructures, polymers, solutions, water pollutants, chemical, water purification

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Highly effective and highly efficient decontamination of mercury from aqueous media remains a serious task for public health and ecosystem protection. Here we report that this task can be addressed by creating a mercury 'nano-trap' as illustrated by functionalizing a high surface area and robust porous organic polymer with a high density of strong mercury chelating groups. The resultant porous organic polymer-based mercury 'nano-trap' exhibits a record-high saturation mercury uptake capacity of over 1,000 mg g(-1), and can effectively reduce the mercury(II) concentration from 10 p.p.m. to the extremely low level of smaller than 0.4 p.p.b. well below the acceptable limits in drinking water standards (2 p.p.b.), and can also efficiently remove >99.9% mercury(II) within a few minutes. Our work therefore presents a new benchmark for mercury adsorbent materials and provides a new perspective for removing mercury(II) and also other heavy metal ions from contaminated water for environmental remediation.

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Nature Communications, v. 5, art. 5537