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Development of Molecular Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) for the Selective Removal of Carbamazepine from Aqueous Solution

Authors: Bianca Schweiger, Lucile Bahnweg, Barbara Palm, Ute Steinfeld


The occurrence and removal of trace organic contaminants in the aquatic environment has become a focus of environmental concern. For the selective removal of carbamazepine from loaded waters molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) were synthesized with carbamazepine as template. Parameters varied were the type of monomer, crosslinker, and porogen, the ratio of starting materials, and the synthesis temperature. Best results were obtained with a template to crosslinker ratio of 1:20, toluene as porogen, and methacrylic acid (MAA) as monomer. MIPs were then capable to recover carbamazepine by 93% from a 10-5 M landfill leachate solution containing also caffeine and salicylic acid. By comparison, carbamazepine recoveries of 75% were achieved using a nonimprinted polymer (NIP) synthesized under the same conditions, but without template. In landfill leachate containing solutions carbamazepine was adsorbed by 93-96% compared with an uptake of 73% by activated carbon. The best solvent for desorption was acetonitrile, with which the amount of solvent necessary and dilution with water was tested. Selected MIPs were tested for their reusability and showed good results for at least five cycles. Adsorption isotherms were prepared with carbamazepine solutions in the concentration range of 0.01 M to 5*10-6 M. The heterogeneity index showed a more homogenous binding site distribution.

Keywords: Carbamazepine, landfill leachate, removal, reuse

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