Author(s): Mphilisi M Mahlambi, Tshepo J Malefetse, Bhekie B Mamba, Rui W Krause
The removal of toxic contaminants from water remains a huge challenge for water supplying companies and municipalities. Both organic and inorganic (especially heavy metals) pollutants are often present in water distribution networks. There is at present no water treatment intervention that simultaneously removes both organic and inorganic pollutants from water to desirable levels. In our laboratories, recent studies have shown that both functionalized and unfunctionalized cyclodextrin (CD) polymers are capable of removing organic pollutants from water, with the functionalized CD polymers showing enhanced absorption capabilities. Ionic liquids (ILs) on the other hand have been reported to absorb heavy metals from aqueous media. In this paper, we report on the synthesis and characterization of several cyclodextrin-ionic liquid (CD-IL) polymers, a dual system that is capable of removing both organic and inorganic pollutants from water.