April 19, 2018
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Speaker: William Dichtel
Host: Jiwoong Park
Title: "Rapid Sequestration of Organic Micropollutants From Water Using Porous Cyclodextrin Polymers"
Organic micropollutants, such as pesticides and pharmaceuticals, have raised concerns about negative effects on ecosystems and human health. These compounds are introduced into water resources by human activities, and current wastewater treatment processes do not remove them. Activated carbons are the most widespread adsorbents used to remove organic pollutants from water, but they have several deficiencies, including poor removal of relatively hydrophilic micropollutants, inferior performance in the presence of naturally occurring organic matter, and energy intensive regeneration processes. β-cyclodextrin, an inexpensive, sustainably produced derivative of glucose, encapsulates micropollutants in water. We link β-cyclodextrin into permanently porous polymers that bind micropollutants with adsorption rate constants 15 to 200 times greater than competing adsorbent materials. The polymers bind pollutants with high affinity, yet can be easily regenerated and reused. We also recently modified our original polymer design to target perfluorinated compounds such as PFOA, which are environmentally persistent associated with negative effects at trace concentrations.