Organically functionalized mesoporous SBA-15 as sorbents for removal of selected pharmaceuticals from water

Tung Xuan Bui, Seo Young Kang, Sang Hyup Lee, Heechul Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


Mesoporous silica SBA-15 and its postfunctionalized counterparts with hydroxymethyl (HM-SBA-15), aminopropyl (AP-SBA-15), and trimethylsilyl (TMS-SBA-15) were prepared and characterized by powder X-ray diffraction, N 2 adsorption-desorption measurement, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and elemental analysis. The removal of a mixture of 12 selected pharmaceuticals was investigated by batch adsorption experiments onto SBA-15 and the grafted materials. SBA-15 showed to have moderate adsorption affinity with amino-containing (atenolol, trimethoprim) and hydrophobic pharmaceuticals, but it displayed minimal adsorption affinity toward hydrophilic compounds. HM-SBA-15 was analogous with SBA-15 in terms of the adsorption efficiency toward all pharmaceuticals. AP-SBA-15 exhibited an increase in the adsorption of two acidic compounds (clofibric acid, diclofenac) but a decrease in the adsorption of estrone and the two amino-containing compounds. Among the grafted materials, TMS-SBA-15 had the highest adsorption affinity toward most pharmaceuticals. Moreover, the adsorption of nine pharmaceuticals to TMS-SBA-15 was significantly higher than that to SBA-15; seven of which showed the removal percentages from 70.6% to 98.9% onto TMS-SBA-15. The number of pharmaceuticals showing high adsorption efficiency onto TMS-SBA-15 did not alter significantly as the pH changed in the range of 5.5-7.6. The results suggest that TMS-SBA-15 is a promising material for the removal of pharmaceuticals from aqueous phase, especially for the treatment of wastewater from drug manufacturers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of hazardous materials
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Oct 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Korea Ministry of Environment as Converging Technology project .


  • Adsorption
  • Functionalization
  • Mesoporous silica SBA-15
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Trimethylsilyl groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Organically functionalized mesoporous SBA-15 as sorbents for removal of selected pharmaceuticals from water'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this