Application of organic-inorganic hybrid composite particle for removal of heavy metal ions from aqueous solution and its toxicity evaluation

Soonjae Lee, Nahae Kim, Seulki Cho, Jae Chun Ryu, Yoon Cho, Jeong Ann Park, Sang Hyup Lee, Juyoung Kim, Jae Woo Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we present new organic–inorganic (O-I) hybrid composite particles and their possible application as an adsorbent for removal of various inorganic heavy metal from aqueous phase. The O-I hybrid nanoparticles were first prepared by copolymerization of (3-aminopropyl) triethoxysilane (APTES) and alkoxysilane-functionalized amphiphilic polymer (APAS) precursors which have hydrophobic polypropylene oxide segment and hydrophilic polyethylene oxide segment at the same backbones where triethoxysilane groups are chemically bonded with hydrophobic segment. The O-I hybrid composite particles consisting of silica nanoparticles chemically interconnected by O-I hybrid nanoparticles were prepared using the 2nd hydrolysis-condensation reaction. The characteristics of the hybrid particle thus developed were confirmed by FT-IR (Fourier transform infrared) spectroscopy, 29Si-NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectroscopy, EA (Elemental analysis), TGA (thermogravimetric analysis), SEM (scanning electron microscopy), and cryo-TEM (cryogenic transmission electron microscopy). The O-I hybrid particles exhibited removal of cations (Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb) from aqueous solution with a considerably higher sorption capacity for Pb than for other cations. The heavy metal removal occurred instantaneously with pH increase. A step wise application tests were conducted to distinguish between heavy metal precipitation at a high pH and adsorption by the developed material. Cytotoxicity tests demonstrated that the developed adsorbent has a weak cytotoxic effect on four different types of human cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-347
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Polymer Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Adsorption
  • Composite particle
  • Heavy metal ion
  • Organic-inorganic hybrid
  • Toxicity evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Organic Chemistry


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